Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Need Friends

That title may be a little melodramatic.

Or maybe not.

Because writing is lonely. No matter what type of writing you're doing, the actual process of getting words on the page or screen is a solitary business. A few weeks ago, I took the plunge into (almost) full-on entrepreneurship. And now that I've decided to devote more of my time to writing, I spend hours every day staring at this 17-inch screen, lost in my own head.

Which is cool. But the problem is that I'm a social girl. I love talking. Hanging out. Happy hour-ing. Living in the real world. And I do that quite a bit with the friends I already have. But if I don't stop babbling on and on about writing, those friends might not want to hang around me so much.

Seriously.

So, my point is that I really want to find some writer friends. I've read a lot of blog entries about the importance of connecting with other writers - writing groups, workshops, critique groups. I just have no idea where they are and how to find them. I guess I should point out about this time that I'm writing fiction. And that feels like a major confession (I feel a future blog post coming on). Most people who know me know I'm a journalist - my byline's been floating around town for years, and at least a fifth of the people I know have been coerced at some point to serve as a source for some article I've written. But only a select few know that I recently finished my first novel.

And fiction is a whole new world to me. Literally - I have whole new worlds floating around in my head at all times, waiting to be poured out on screen. But I have so much to learn about how to do it. I've been reading some great books on craft and poring over the many awesome writing blogs out there. (Who would've guessed writers would make such great bloggers??) Now I just need someone to talk to - face to face, over coffee or tea or wine or whatever - about what it's like to have characters having conversations in your head and how to get those conversations on the page and how hard it is to then get it all published. Because I'm completely terrified about that part. (Yet another future blog post.)

So, anybody know how I can get plugged in to the Memphis-area writing community? Or have suggestions for conferences/workshops/seminars where a new, inexperienced fiction writer won't be laughed out of the room???

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