The No-Longer-Lonely Writer
By Jen Parks, Bluegrass Writers Studio
It’s just after midnight, and I’m still awake. Unbeknownst to the sleeping husband beside me, I’m underlining and writing in the margins of James Wood’s How Fiction Works while surreptitiously carrying on conversations with two Bluegrass Writers Studio friends. In one, I’m texting about motherhood; in the other, I’m Facebook messaging about genre fiction.
Rewind to about a year ago and the scene is totally different. On any given night, around midnight, my husband would be upstairs asleep and I’d be in the kitchen writing. There was no texting or Facebook messaging going on. I had no friends in the writing community, no one to bounce ideas off of, and no one to ask, “Hey, how do I make this better?” As a beginning writer, I was pretty lonely.
So what changed? The Bluegrass Writers Studio.
I decided that if I was ever going to get any better at this writing thing I needed help. Serious help. First, I tried the reading-a-few-books-on-writing routine. But have you looked on Amazon lately? There’s an ocean’s worth of books on writing. How could I tell which books were worth their salt? I’d considered attending a writer’s conference but, somewhere deep down, I realized I needed more help than what a weekend conference could offer.
Since starting the program, I have learned more about writing than I ever thought possible – and I am only scratching the surface. The real balm to my
writer’s soul has been the Winter Residency experience. In addition to learning more about the craft, I forged new relationships – and friendships – with classmates and instructors.
As a full-time working mother of three, my time to write most often occurs at night, after everyone is asleep and the house is quiet enough for me to think. Now, when I’m alone in front of the computer burning the midnight oil, I am no longer lonely.
When I’m up against the brick wall of writer’s block or when my muse has left the proverbial building of my brain, all I have to do is pick up the phone or open my laptop and a writer friend who’s “been there, done that” is only a call, a text message, a Facebook post, or a coffee shop date away.
Published on March 12, 2014