Monday, February 28, 2011

never alone...

This is my first post for the Rockville 8! It is an honor to be included in such talented and gifted company. When I was contemplating what I would write today I kept asking myself “What would X write?" "What words of wisdom would Z pass along?”

In asking those questions I had my answer. Community.

I belong to a fabulously talented community of writers.  I don’t know everything there is to know about writing. Whether it be about the hero's journey or the seven anchor scenes of a novel. There’s the goal/motivation/conflict of my heroine or the publishing industry at large. I struggle with my pacing, plotting, structure and voice. I HATE grammar, probably due to my post traumatic stress flashbacks of 7th grade diagramming at the hands of my middle school English teacher, Mrs. Loftus.

Even with all of these hurdles to overcome, I know that I am not alone.

Writing is a solitary endeavor at times, as I toil away in silence trying to create a world filled with beauty and wonder where happily ever after is a possibility. I can’t count the times I have stared at my computer screen ready to rip my hair out because of one issue or another. This is usually when I activate the Bat Signal, sending out my SOS. Before you know it I have received several messages of encouragement, steeped with information and suggestions. I am never disappointed with what comes back to me. If I don’t know it, someone else will.

My community is there for me to celebrate when the contest wins come through or the agent calls back. They are there when my participles are dangling and my hero is not cooperating. They are there for me when my real life is falling down around my shoulders and the thought of finishing my book is so daunting I wish to run away and hide and never, ever come back.

Lena Horne said it beautifully:
“It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s how you choose to carry it.”

I choose to walk beside a group of woman who have supported, encouraged, critiqued, corrected, brainstormed and laughed...and laughed...and laughed with me over the last two years. Even when I was quiet for a time, I knew they were there when I was ready to jump back in. So, I take this opportunity to thank this community of writers for helping me carry the load.

Ladies, I raise my glass to each of you.


PS. If you are looking for a community to join check out Romance Writers of America or American Christian Fiction Writers.  There's a group for everyone no matter what genre you write!


  1. Lovely, Mary! There is such a great sense of community in WRW/RWA, isn't there?

  2. I couldn't agree more Michelle. Whenever I have a question or need advice, I know where to turn. So glad to be part of such a wonderful group of writer's.

  3. Welcome to the blog, Mary!!! So happy to have you here AND to have you as part of the community of writers that surrounds me with the support you so beautifully described. It ROCKS!

  4. Mary - welcome, welcome! And welcome back!! We've missed you.

    I like to call it "alone together." Writing is essentially a solitary pursuit, but who says we have to stay stuck in the garret with no one to keep us company along the way?

    And if anyone *does* say it, phooey on them. They don't have a clue. Togetherness makes facing the blank page eminently doable.

    So glad you are together with us once more.

  5. Thanks Keely and Yvonne! I like your title Keely "alone together" is the right idea...

    Always happy to be along for the ride!

  6. Write on, Mary, write on! Glad to see you up and at 'em with the Rockville 8!

    By the way, what's in that glass you're raising? *wink*

  7. Great post, Mary! So, true about how wonderful having a community of writers. It's nice to have others who understand your trials and tribulations and to share in the good times as well.

  8. Nichole - the joy of a virtual "glass" is that it can contain whatever you wish. Mine is a

    Lisa - an understanding ear in the midst of the insanity is a beautiful thing!

  9. Awesome post, Mary. Community is so important in this business. You hit all the right notes. I enjoyed your words of encouragement. ;0)