A Lonely Job?

Monday, March 7, 2016

I’ve heard people say that writing is a lonely job, but you couldn’t prove it by me. In fact, you couldn’t prove it by most writers I know. This was my schedule this past Saturday:

  • 11:30 a.m.—Eat & Exchange. In this spring series sponsored by the Indiana Writers’ Consortium, writers get together to discuss a writing-related topic.
  • 1:00 p.m.—IWC Conference Committee meeting to plan the 2016 Steel Pen Creative Writers’ Conference.
  • 3:30 p.m.—Highland Writers’ Group. This is a critique group that meets weekly.

Sure, many parts of the writing process require solitude. When I sit down to put words on paper, I’m the only one in the room. But I don’t know if there are any truly solitary jobs, and writing certainly doesn’t qualify.

Most writers can find plenty of opportunities to interact with people who understand the writing life. By “most,” I mean 99.9%. The only writers who are excluded are those who live hours away from a town and don’t have the Internet or a cell phone. And even those people might be able to attend a conference once a year.

So if you are a writer who feels lonely, seek out other writers. Most genres have a national organization, and those organizations often have local chapters and methods for hooking up with other members. Or see if your local library or bookstore has a list of writers’ groups.

In Northwest Indiana, we are blessed with a number of writers’ critique groups as well as the Indiana Writers’ Consortium, which provides educational and networking opportunities for writers. To learn more about IWC, go to http://indianawritersconsortium.org/.

And while you’re at it, mark your calendar for the 2016 Steel Pen Creative Writers’ Conference with keynote speaker Cathy Day. It will be held on November 12 at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana, and more information will be coming soon.

I hope to see you there or at another writing event.

Because writing is not a lonely job.


I took the photo at the head of this post during last year’s IWC conference with keynote speaker Bryan Furuness.

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