A while ago, I talked about how important it was for me to have an amazing critique group. I realized at the RMFW conference last weekend that it's not just about the critique group--it's about having a support network of other writers.
There's something wonderful that happens when you get a bunch of creative people together for any significant period of time. We tend to clump together (after we get over our initial shyness) and create this incredible camaraderie that only comes from hanging out with 'your tribe'--the people who really understand the quirks and tics of being creative--brainstorms, commiseration, encouragement, and a sense of belonging.
I used to think that I could do it all alone. I could sit at home and write and put it out on the internet (ha) and readers would come to me and I didn't have to get better. Now would be an appropriate time to insert this meme:
Creating isn't about being alone or shoving your own work down someone else's throat. It's about finding or creating a community of like-minded people with whom you can find mutual support on the long and rocky road. It's about staying up way too late and drinking a little too much with people on the same journey you're on, talking about ideas and where you're headed and which agents/editors/publishers might be interested in your story. It's about throwing ideas around and working together to create incredible, ridiculous things you couldn't do on your own (just like this podcast).
And I never quite realized how beautiful that is until I jumped head-first into it.
If you create, don't do it alone. Find others who work in your medium and find a way to share the experience. I bet it'll enrich your life in ways you never even dreamed.
Emily is a massive introvert, so being around people is a double-edged sword. But she loves hanging out with other writers, especially when they skip the short jokes. Be online friends with her on Twitter @emilyksinger.