Writing’s a lonely business. At least, it is for me. Long ago, I scrapped my notions of getting an MFA and I have no regrets. See, in my heart of hearts, soul of souls, down to the marrow of my bones, I’m a novelist. And, well, novels and creative writing workshop settings don’t always go so well together. So, it seems to me that novel writing’s an even lonelier business.
I have written two complete novels. One is failed (though sometimes I imagine that should new novel ideas cease to come to me, I’ll revisit it) and one is a current work-in-progress I hope to have finished by New Year’s Day 2013. I’ve made mistakes along the way. Not putting it in a drawer/filing it away/not looking at it for long enough before I showed it to others. Or querying literary agents before it was ready, before I was ready.
And no matter how better I’m getting, how quickly and well I can draft the first time around, or how thoroughly I edit and revise, or how much I’ve learned, I don’t feel less lonely. It’s only in talking with other novelists, aspiring and publishing, that I feel less on my own. Commiseration and camaraderie are invaluable when toiling away in metaphorical garrets.
So, I started this blog in order to bring together the writer friends I know who are in various stages of this process. From published debut novelist Rayme Waters, to an editor of her own press, Joanne Merriam, to aspiring novelists beginning the adventure of putting together tens of thousands of words into something worthwhile and artistic, we are coming together to commiserate and inspire. I hope to meet some new novelists along the way and that our group blog and our lonely novelist struggles will be helpful to others.
|Photo by Curt Richter|
Sabra Wineteer grew up in Moss Bluff, Louisiana. She has since lived in England, New Zealand, Germany, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and currently lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband and their three tweens. Her work has appeared in TWINS Magazine, storySouth, The Rumpus, 7X20, and the anthology 140 And Counting. She has workshopped her fiction with Antonya Nelson, Charles D'Ambrosio, and Margaret Atwood. She is the 2012 Joyce Horton Johnson Fiction Award recipient and founder of Talking Shop, an upcoming online literary community.