After 70 episodes of my serial, I find myself contemplating it—wondering how it got to 70 episodes—and marveling at how great a difference it can make to have readers.
Writing is by nature a very isolated activity. I now wonder how much of that isolation is self-imposed. Why does every writer have to brood over a typewriter in a dark room? I have found in recent months that writing blossoms when warmed by the presence of friends.
It might be a cliche romantic notion, the lonely writer with the quill pen, hidden in a castle tower (or dungeon.) Maybe it’s just me: If I don’t have company to provide encouragement and ideas, I lose my own direction. I question the point of what I am doing. It’s easier to fall into the trap of “no one is going to read what’s on this page, so I have no need to improve anything.”
I have written 70 episodes and that makes almost 2 novels. That would not have happened if not for the writing friends who read each episode as it was published and provided motivation. Before Vella, I did write—but those stories went nowhere, since no one was egging me on. After Vella, everything changed.
Of course, some writers will be the sort to work better in secrecy and privacy. We are all different. But I personally have come to realize that I wouldn’t have made it to 70 episodes if I had stayed in that dark corner with my desk (or laptop.)
Are you a social writer, or do you prefer to keep private and take your time? Have you ever tried doing the opposite of what you’re accustomed to?