Even though I'm here at Novel Spaces today, I'm not here here. I'm currently in Washington, D.C. attending the Romance Writers of America's annual conference, and no doubt having a fabulous time. I joined RWA back in 2002, and braved my first plane ride alone to attend their national conference in Denver that summer. I've been back every year since. At first, it was the great workshops that drew me in. I'm somewhat obsessed with learning the writing craft. But after a couple of years, it was the atmosphere and the people that kept me coming back. I belonged there because I was with people who think, speak, imagine, and dream the way that I do.
Writers are unique in their way of thinking. We not only accept that there are voices in our heads, we encourage those voices to speak louder, then take what they're saying and develop it into stories. And while people who are not writers may enjoy reading those stories we've created, they don't necessarily want to hear about how it's done. I've seen enough eyes gloss over to know that any talk about the writing craft is not welcome at family functions.
But when I'm at places like the RWA National Conference, or even virtual places, like Novel Spaces, I don't have to worry about putting anyone to sleep. When you're around like-minded people, they're eager to hear about the struggle you had getting that last scene to work, or the joy you felt when you received cool fan mail.
We've all heard that writing is a solitary occupation. Often times, authors are left with only those voices in their heads to talk to. That's why writers should take every opportunity available to converse with like-minded people. Not only will they share in both your ups and your downs, they will understand them. That's something no one else can give you but a fellow writer.