Thursday, April 21, 2011

And God said: DO NOT DISTURB!

We are so together in our solitude, aren't we?

We are all on that same road to publication, yet no two vehicles are alike. Some fly down the road in a convertible, smiling and waving and sure they're headed in the right direction, though it's hard to see with all that hair whipping in their faces.

Some roll their windows up tight and avoid eye contact with anyone they pass or anyone who passes them.

Some walk and talk and encourage others. Some take their time to help lost writers plot a course on their map, then strike out again, only to stop and help yet another writer because they cannot possibly ignore the need.

And sometimes, when the road is dark, we circle our wagons and have a giggle around a campfire, forgetting who is driving what, bonding as travelers, not writers.

But we are alone. In the throngs of authors and dreamers shuffling from one writer's workshop to the next, sitting on top of each other in seats meant for children, we are...alone. Wherever it is we end up--indie pubbing, traditional pubbing, or living in one of the six big castles in New York--we get there alone. Those who squee for us, throw terrific launch parties for us, or buy us cheesecake for every rejection, stand beside us, of course. But when we arrive or fail to arrive, we are alone.

In a library full of writers, we write alone. We edit alone. We meet our characters alone. We are rejected or loved depending on how hard we worked in solitude. It is the ultimate test.

I wonder, when God created, if he closed himself off, for a time, to come up with something brilliant. I wonder what the sign said--the one he hung on his door.

10 comments:

Scott Niven said...

Beautiful post. This phrase will stick in my mind for a long time: "In a library full of writers, we write alone. We edit alone. We meet our characters alone."

KrisseeV said...

So true! I always wonder which writer I am on that road. Great post!

Lesli Muir Lytle said...

You know who the convertible chick is though, don't you!

I'd like to be the one on the horse. Windows rolled down, of course.

ladystef said...

You are too funny. Right now I'm the convertible. Tomorrow I may be changing a flat.

J. Coleman said...

What a great blog, Lesli. I'm the one with one knee in the RadioFlyer red wagon, holding the handle to my chest while I feverishly run my leg against the pavement to keep up with the rest of you. Don't run over me, or God forbid, leave me behind!

stanalei said...

Well said, Lesli. Thank you.

Mary Martinez said...

Lesli I believe I'm changing a flat right now.... Because I'm definitely not flying down the writing road.

Kerrigan Byrne said...

Just fantastic post Lesli. You're amazing, and totally correct! For a social as we can be, writing is a very solitary experience. However, I think that our characters are sort of creations of our solitude, like grown-up imaginary friends or something. I sort of like that. :D
See you at the retreat!

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Convertible chick here! But you knew that. I love being alone. I fight for it, lie, cheat, and scheme for it. My sign says: Will Maim if Interrupted. It’s also one of the many reasons I write on the graveyard shift. Funny, thing is, I don't get lonely.

Natalie, love our grown-up imaginary friends!

Great post, Lesli.

Diane Darcy said...

Maybe his sign said, Try down below. I'm busy. =) Um...was that lightening outside my window? =)Lovely ideas in this post-it can be a lonely road and some days I feel like I'm furiously pedaling a tricycle, trying to play catch up with the big girls, and others life is good and I'm cruising along having fun in the cherry red convertible. Whatever the ride, it's nice to have friends to circle the wagons with.