Writing is a such a solitary thing…

17 Sep

Writing is a solitary undertaking. I’ve said it. You’ve probably said it.

But wait!

I spend many hours writing in front of a computer, seemingly alone in a room (discounting our dachshund, Winston). But I’m not really alone. I’m in a setting of my own creation with characters I’ve come to love (or not). Together we’re telling our tale. At least that’s how it is for me.

Along the way, I talk to other writers and people close to me about the plotting of the story, testing to see if I or my characters have led us astray. Then I attempt to include even more people in the process by sending my work to agents or editors, hoping they like it enough to take it on or follow through on a proposed project. If they do, another set of people enter the project. You get the idea.

Long-time authors tell of the past when a writer sat and wrote stories, then sent them in to editors who had the time to do a lot of advising and to lovingly usher the book into the eye of the public. It’s a whole different ball game now.

Editors are overloaded with submissions, meetings and number crunching, along with the editing work itself. Agents are overwhelmed with the number of people wanting to break into the industry. The publishing business has changed a lot since those seemingly blissful, lazy days when editors and agents actually responded to submissions. And huge changes are taking place once again with the advent of self-publishing, e-books, and the explosion of apps and other media opportunities for a writer’s work.

Today the writer must be a people person, immersing her/himself into the media frenzy that accompanies publication in the present world. I’ve heard it said that writers, as a group, tend to be on the shy side which is why they’re willing to spend so much time in front of a computer. That may still be the case, but when those people are not writing, they’re forced to market to family, friends, groups and mere acquaintances. Gone is the time when writing was known as a solitary business. It simply isn’t anymore.

How has your writing life changed in the last few years?


Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Idaho


17 responses to “Writing is a such a solitary thing…

  1. Janis McCurry

    September 17, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    The biggest change is joining GSW in an effort to have a web presence by something other than an author website. I can put the GSW site on my business cards and agents/editors can look me up.

  2. Judith Keim

    September 17, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    I like that idea, too, Janis…I’m so pleased to be a part of it!

  3. lizkflaherty

    September 17, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    I spend more time on social media (sometimes promoting, sometimes just socializing) than I do on actual writing. I don’t consider it a good thing, actually, but the truth is that I enjoy it.

    • Judith Keim

      September 17, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      You’re so lucky that you enjoy it because so many people don’t! But, like I said, it’s a necessary thing…

  4. stephanieberget

    September 17, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Welcome Judy. I have discovered Twitter (never was a FB fan). I need to learn to Pin, but later when I have time. I agree, GSW is a great way to connect with other writers and readers.

    • Judith Keim

      September 17, 2012 at 9:51 AM

      I’m on Pin but don’t use it much…have to set aside time to learn it!

  5. Barbara Barrett

    September 17, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    It hasn’t just been dipping my toes in the social media that’s changed. It’s stating and restating who I am and what I’ve written so that each blog post, each tweet, each FB entry is different and enticing. I enjoy it, but it’s a drain on the creative energies that I’d rather use in my writing.

    • Judith Keim

      September 17, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      So happy for you, Barb, that you are sailing along! Keep it up! You’re doing fine…

  6. Peggy Staggs

    September 17, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    I have a website and GSW. Both are big changes in my writing life. I like the GSW because it makes me stretch as a writer. It forces me to come up with different things that hopefully, people will be interested in. The self-promotion aspect is something that still causes me hearburn.

    • Judith Keim

      September 17, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      Peggy, like you, I have a website (actually two because of my children’s writing) am on Facebook, Twitter, etc. It takes a huge chunk of time to be so involved in these things and I sometimes wish I could just sit and write.

  7. Brenda Sparks

    September 17, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    I have to say, I spend a huge chunk of time everyday on social media. At the end of the week, it’s about equal to the amount of time I’ve spent writing. But, I can honestly say that when my debut comes out I’ll have linked up with well over 1,000 people who I would not otherwise have had access to. We’ll see if all that time pays off.

  8. Clarissa Southwick

    September 17, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Great post, Judy. Sometimes the conferencing and networking gets in the way of writing. I try to focus on writing as much as I can.

    • Judith Keim

      September 17, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      I don’t underestimate the importance of it, I think sometimes people carry it to the extreme. That said, I’m glad to have connections to so many people! Writers, as a whole, are a great group of people and best of all, we understand each other!!!

  9. Lynn Mapp

    September 17, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Judy, welcome. I am a social person, but I worry about the whole marketing end of the business. That’s only because I don’t have a clue. I am clueless.

  10. Judith Keim

    September 18, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    Hi, Lynn! You’re not alone…but knowing you the little bit I do, I’m sure you’ll do just fine! Can’t wait to see some of that humor in print!!

  11. maryvine

    September 18, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    The problem is we have a little talent for writing, but not usually marketing, too. Most of us are not sure what will work for us, marketing wise, and we waste precious writing time trying to figure it out, or make it work. One author who’s got it together is Kristina McMorris. I think her presenting it all together up front helped her make a deal with her editor. Welcome to Gem State Writers, Judith!

  12. Judith Keim

    September 18, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Mary, you’re right. Most writers are not marketers naturally but have had to jump on that band wagon in order to get the attention of agents and editors…Kristina has a great reputation!


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