The image of the writer locked away in a dark room pounding away on the keyboard is one that's always been embedded in my head. And for a good reason, I mean, writing doesn't get done except by some solitary confinement with a writing implement of some sort.
Today is Valentine's Day and, for a lot of people, that means spending the day with their loved one(s) (or alternatively complaining about a lack of loved one(s)). This holiday in particular reminds me that writing isn't just a solitary effort. Yes, the act of writing generally happens alone, but writers don't have to be alone.
I think that love and support is one of the most important things that a writer can find. Having a supportive group who helps on the days when you don't want to type another word, or who tells you that million dollar story idea you had about a bear who finds love with a hunter might not be such a good plan.
Writers need that.
That's one of the reasons I love living in this age of digital connection. I'm very lucky to have a very supportive family, and a great group of friends who support me, and believe in me. But I find people online all the time who don't have that, and who are reaching out into the webs of interspace to find it, hoping someone will reach back.
Maybe it's in the #amwriting tag on twitter. Maybe it's on a forum board. Maybe it's through putting up fan fiction. Maybe it's through Nanowrimo.
But finding that is a vital and important part of writing. Writing is lonely, and it's hard. Ripping up pieces of your heart and spreading them on a page in a finger painting you hope someone else will understand can make a person a wee bit off after some time, and sometimes it's easy to lose your way and wander through this writing world lost and confused.
That's where a loving, firm hand is great to have to help pull you up and whisper, 'You can do it.'
So happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there and an especially big hug to everyone I'm blessed to call friend!