Thorsday: We Are Not Alone

We're being invaded by someone's chandelier.

I don’t mean we’re all awash in aliens. I mean, we might be, but that’s a topic for another day, so put away your little red flashy thing and leave my memory the way it is.

I’m an introvert. I’ve always quite enjoyed my own company. Being sent to my room as a child was never a punishment (though I don’t think it happened much, if at all). If that happened, I would just settle in with a book and a cuddly bear and prepare for the glory of quiet peacefulness. I work in a restaurant right now, and it’s my job to be friendly and extroverted. I am good with people, and I enjoy meeting them and talking to them, but when I get home, I’m flat pooped.

I need alone time to recharge.

However, even for me, too much time alone can turn into this:

I knew I was missing something...

I had a few surreal moments this weekend. For one, I realized that I’d never once heard the words “query,” “partial,” and “SASE” said out loud in person. It took me a while to put my finger on what the oddity was.

Writing had always been something I did alone at my desk or on my bed — my bed is heaven — and though I’ve been in some writing groups, for some reason the topic of submission rarely came up. When it did, I don’t remember anyone using those words. Probably because no one was ready to kick the ball down the hill. Regardless, my entire writing life had resembled something like this:

Tra la la, mine is a round and shiny home.

While it’s quite pretty and serene in that shiny, shiny bubble, it’s also rather lonely. When you float around everyone’s ears, you start to feel like you’re on the outside looking in rather than on the inside peering out. That all changed this weekend.

Not only did I discover that agents are people — and cool ones with erm, good taste in my hair! — but I found that the people who lurk behind the words of books are warm and genuine. They get it. They get writing, and they get the dream and the struggle. All of the people there from the ones still plonking away at the keyboard to finish the work in progress to the gatekeepers themselves and the kings and queens of the hills — all of them are somehow like me.

I marveled at the revelation, that indeed we are not alone. Kristen Lamb wrote a whole book about it — about how we don’t need to go it alone.

Many professions can be lonely. Many jobs out there plop you into a cubicle all day, isolated from others unless they show up at your cardboard-y corner. It’s not just writers who get cut off from their colleagues, though granted it’s a bit easier to live in a bubble when you work from home.

People need community; we need people. Even introverts like me, and I admit there are days that I’ll brandish my Scottish antique letter opener at you if you come near me when I need my space. We all need each other.

That’s one of the reasons I began the whole Friday Fellow deal (stop by tomorrow if you’re new around here!) — I wanted to celebrate the community we have in the blogging world. Raise up a few bloggers on a little pedestal and give them a moment to shine.

It’s amazing to me how much it means when someone takes the time just to reach out and say a hello or ask how things are coming along. Having people know about my dreams keeps me accountable, and knowing you all take the time out of your busy days to stop by my corner of the world keeps me honest. And honestly, I’m quite fond of you, gentle viewers.

This Thorsday is for you — you’re quite the ray of sunshine in my very busy life. All 500 of you. I got some chills when I saw I’d passed that little landmark. I’m very humbled and thankful that you’re here.

You. If the clouds parted and you made a bunch of light.

First person to sing kumbaya gets a pie to the face.

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About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on January 26, 2012, in Thorsday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I know exactly what you mean about the loneliness of a writer. It’s hard finding someone who gets how grueling it is to sit in front of a keyboard and type away these thoughts in your head. I want to tell people about my thoughts, my plans, how epic, how everything ties together, yet nobody understands it. Or they say “I can’t wait to read it; when will it be finished?” I want someone to communicate with me. It helps me push forward; it lets me know I’m not alone in this big world.

    I am glad I met you Miss Emmie Mears. I’m glad I found your Spike heavy post and I commented or we never would’ve known one another and I wouldn’t have realize there are people out there just like me. *hugs!*

    • Aw! 😀 Your comment just made my day! And I woke up stuffy with a headache for no good reason and was feeling rather grouchtastic.

      But here you are! Thank you for your kind words — I am super happy to have found you as well. Writers and Buffy fans need to stick together. 😀

      *BIG BEAR HUG!* (But not like hugging an actual bear, because they have quite long claws, and their PR is way too good at emphasizing non-existent cuddliness.)

  2. Yes, I’m starting to understand the loneliness of a writer. And the stagnation of that world. I look up on Friday and realize that I’ve hardly talked to anyone outside of my family except for those with whom I was engaged in a commercial transaction. Ideas start to dry up without that outside stimulation. On the other hand I would love to have a serious submission group. We can sit around kvetching about each other’s work all we want, but I need someone with some insight who will help me decide where to send, what all the submission guidelines really mean, etc. That’s the loneliest part I think. The hardest to learn on your own. Yeah, I could probably learn to play the violin by myself, but it really would go faster if I had someone with some experience sitting in the same room saying “this is the best way to hold the bow” or “place your fingers more firmly on the strings for a better tone.”

  3. ROFL – not the dreaded pie in the face. I’m singing it anyway!

  4. What kind of pie? Just want to know what I’m getting into. 🙂 great post, Emmie!

  5. I’m safe, I don’t know the words to “Kumbaya” – did I even spell it right? My mother, who was a writer, too, always hated being interrupted, especially if said interruption was accompanied by the familiar “Oh, well, I knew you were probably not doing anything but just writing.” I find its easier to be sociable as a non-fiction writer because I interact a lot more with people in the course of my research. But when I get wrapped up in my ever-ongoing sci-fi novel, I live in my mind, with my characters, and sometimes its hard to come out.

  6. I get what you mean about being introverted with an extroverted job. My day job used to involve interacting with dozens of people a day. All of whom I was trying to get information from. I’d come home and melt into the couch with my dog.

    It’s nice to be in your corner of the blogosphere. And it was lovely to meet and get to know you in NY. I know I’ll be in line to buy Emmie Mears’ book soon!

    • Yeah, it gets draining after a while. I just look forward to weeks like this next one where I get two days off, then two night shifts, then another day off. Breaks it up a bit. 🙂

  7. Yes, the peril of the writer’s bubble. I’m stoked to be a part of Kristen’s class for this reason. Being super shy, I’ve tried and tried to expand that bubble to no avail. And then I joined and suddenly had a bubble of 100 with the ability to expand!

  8. Also, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award! More info at http://www.cindymbell.com/2012/01/27/blog-love/

  9. I’m an introvert too and terribly shy, so I know exactly what you mean about not minding being sent to your room as a kid. Most of the time I also don’t mind the fact that I work alone, but I found that my enjoyment of writing went up significantly once I started blogging and got on Twitter. It seems counter-intuitive since social media takes away from writing time, but at the same time, the encouragement we can get from others writers can actually make us more productive in the time we have 🙂

    P.S. It was nice to meet you in person last weekend.

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