Gosh, after Linda's exciting post last week, I don't really know what to say! It's always great to hear about successes. I met Linda first on a writing course in Corfu some years ago, with Katie Fforde. We had a lot of laughs (and there remain a few stories to tell), but most important of all, we formed a friendship that has lasted.
I'm sure that writing was once a solitary occupation. Of course, it still is, because you create a world in your head, peopled by characters that only you know and can describe - and that's what's so magical about writing. You are in control of this world and only you can bring it to life and call upon others to enter your creation. There's a weird feeling of power - yes, you can create people or kill them off, set their houses on fire, make them fall in love - or out of it - save a village, destroy a planet. But with power comes responsibility. You have to bring your readers with you on the journey of your imagination. You have to make your characters true to themselves and real. You have to lay clues on the first page that tease the reader into wanting to know what dangers or challenges your characters face, and you have to make sure those clues are all unwound, unravelled and explained by the end, or you will leave your readers feeling unsatisfied. It's an activity that fills your whole head and is at the same time utterly fulfilling and totally challenging.
Anyway, I was talking about writing being solitary. Maybe it is when you're at the keyboard, slogging away at your creation, but the truth is, it's not solitary any more. I have made some wonderful friends through my writing. I have found that well established writers like Anita Burgh, Katie Fforde and Eileen Ramsay have been extraordinarily generous with their time and expertise, not just to me, but also to other dedicated aspiring writers. I've joined e-loops (writersscotland members have become both a support and a delight, my Annie Burgh friends are a joy, as are my FAWers) and I've established a small but perfectly formed buddy group locally (thanks, Numpties!).
There's my friends on Novel Points of View, too. We're all different, but we all understand the craft of writing, the joys it brings and the toll it takes.
And of course, there's a whole world out there in the shape of my Twitter and Facebook friends.
Solitary? Not any longer. Being a writer you become a part of a great, supportive, frenetic, funny, witty, erudite, emotion-filled community.
Just give me time to write!