I don’t mean we’re all awash in aliens. I mean, we might be, but that’s a topic for another day, so put away your little red flashy thing and leave my memory the way it is.
I’m an introvert. I’ve always quite enjoyed my own company. Being sent to my room as a child was never a punishment (though I don’t think it happened much, if at all). If that happened, I would just settle in with a book and a cuddly bear and prepare for the glory of quiet peacefulness. I work in a restaurant right now, and it’s my job to be friendly and extroverted. I am good with people, and I enjoy meeting them and talking to them, but when I get home, I’m flat pooped.
I need alone time to recharge.
However, even for me, too much time alone can turn into this:
I had a few surreal moments this weekend. For one, I realized that I’d never once heard the words “query,” “partial,” and “SASE” said out loud in person. It took me a while to put my finger on what the oddity was.
Writing had always been something I did alone at my desk or on my bed — my bed is heaven — and though I’ve been in some writing groups, for some reason the topic of submission rarely came up. When it did, I don’t remember anyone using those words. Probably because no one was ready to kick the ball down the hill. Regardless, my entire writing life had resembled something like this:
While it’s quite pretty and serene in that shiny, shiny bubble, it’s also rather lonely. When you float around everyone’s ears, you start to feel like you’re on the outside looking in rather than on the inside peering out. That all changed this weekend.
Not only did I discover that agents are people — and cool ones with erm, good taste in my hair! — but I found that the people who lurk behind the words of books are warm and genuine. They get it. They get writing, and they get the dream and the struggle. All of the people there from the ones still plonking away at the keyboard to finish the work in progress to the gatekeepers themselves and the kings and queens of the hills — all of them are somehow like me.
I marveled at the revelation, that indeed we are not alone. Kristen Lamb wrote a whole book about it — about how we don’t need to go it alone.
Many professions can be lonely. Many jobs out there plop you into a cubicle all day, isolated from others unless they show up at your cardboard-y corner. It’s not just writers who get cut off from their colleagues, though granted it’s a bit easier to live in a bubble when you work from home.
People need community; we need people. Even introverts like me, and I admit there are days that I’ll brandish my Scottish antique letter opener at you if you come near me when I need my space. We all need each other.
That’s one of the reasons I began the whole Friday Fellow deal (stop by tomorrow if you’re new around here!) — I wanted to celebrate the community we have in the blogging world. Raise up a few bloggers on a little pedestal and give them a moment to shine.
It’s amazing to me how much it means when someone takes the time just to reach out and say a hello or ask how things are coming along. Having people know about my dreams keeps me accountable, and knowing you all take the time out of your busy days to stop by my corner of the world keeps me honest. And honestly, I’m quite fond of you, gentle viewers.
This Thorsday is for you — you’re quite the ray of sunshine in my very busy life. All 500 of you. I got some chills when I saw I’d passed that little landmark. I’m very humbled and thankful that you’re here.
First person to sing kumbaya gets a pie to the face.
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