I am someone who needs to constantly be surrounded by people. I love going to a bar, meeting strangers, chatting up bartenders, or just dancing in a crowd. Working in customer service keeps me dealing with people constantly which keeps my energy levels high. I am an extrovert 110%. However, that’s part of the thing that makes writing so hard for me to do. Writing is mostly a solitary act.
To write, you sit down and begin to put words on a page. Some people will type it up. Other people will write things with a pencil or pen. We each have our own way to start, but in the end, it is just us and a blank page. I am okay with a blank page. I can quickly turn it into a page full of words. The problem is the next steps.
Finishing. Editing. Completing.
I always ask people to read my work at the beginning. I know other writers who will not tell their stories until their complete. I need the social interaction and the positive reinforcement to get me to continue. I have a billion superhero stories locked away in my mind, and when one doesn’t work out, I want to move on to the next one immediately. So, I have people read my stories and tell me things are okay. Then, I continue writing, but it’s always a trial to get a finished first draft.
Editing is even harder. My roommate spent years self-editing his own novel. He asked me to look it over, but a large manuscript takes a lot of time to fully edit. I started taking notes in my copy that he bought for me during my newest read through. For my own work, I have a couple friends who look over my work. They’re probably my two best friends, which makes it easier to take their criticism. They’re doing it to better me, not to tear down the work. It works out. I can do the edits and make it better and more concise, but I need help.
Completing. I have never actually completed anything. Not to the point of looking at it and being, “Okay, this is as done as it can be.” This Novella I’m working on is the first thing that’s almost made it to the point. It’s an exciting time to finally be completing something and seeing something on a shelf.
I need people when I’m writing. It probably comes from the constant need to be accepted, but I want to know that people are enjoying my story. I want to know that they’re having a good time while reading it. I want to know that it’s worth all the effort that I’m putting into it. In the end, I want to keep telling stories and I want to keep completing things. I will need help along the way. I’ll need positive encouragement, and I’ll need friends to read my work and help me out. The actual art of writing may be solitary, but to finish anything, I need people.