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.