I love: the Internet!
Not only is the Internet a wonderful place to find subject matter, do research, and procrastinate when you have a story that’s annoying you, but it’s packed with things to read!
If you want someone to read your writing, you can put it out there very easily on the Internet. However, there are so many sites it’s hard to find a place where your work will be visible. You can try SEO, but if you’re not careful, it ends up sounding like a collection of keywords with sentences written around them. This phenomenon shows up quite a bit in poorly-done content writing.
Many literary journals are online or have web versions that showcase short fiction. They’re about the only market left for it, sadly. Competition is fierce and compensation may only be in copies and of course, prestige. Still, if you think your work is up to snuff, it’s worth a try.
You can create a free blog at WordPress or Blogger and showcase your writing that way. If you can attract a good amount of followers, it’s something to put on your writing resumé. You can post your photographs, create a portfolio of artwork, or create a virtual world for yourself.
I hate: isolation.
Writing is a solitary venture. I’ve written about this before. It’s easy to find yourself spending night after night working alone in your office or room, barely spending a moment in the company of other human beings.
When the work is going well, you don’t mind so much. Hours can fly by and you take a break to pee and stretch and eat, maybe even take a quick walk. But your mind is still in that world you’ve created, lost in fantasy or a mysterious setting, which until you’re finished word-crunching, is visible only to you.
It’s easy to look up and realize you don’t have a life.
Here are some ways to combat isolation.
Structure your time to include a little socialization
Many writers work, and they go home in the evening and start working again. As we saw in The Shining, all work and no play makes Jack homicidal. The next time your coworkers ask you to Taco Night Happy Hour at the local dive, DO IT.
“But I have chapters to arrange!” you cry. Fine. Make sure you manage your time so you can do both. Taco Night doesn’t have to turn into a debacle that goes until three a.m. A couple of hours won’t kill you if you stick to a regular writing routine.
Get out of the house
Take your laptop somewhere. The library, the coffee shop, a local park. If there’s an airport in your city, go there. Plug in and work a little bit. Many writer find they are more productive if they have something to ignore. Being outside if the weather is good will make you feel like a million bucks.
Even if you haven’t a clue who any of these people around you are, it’s better than being alone with the furniture. And you might even meet someone cool, or overhear a bit of dialogue that would fit right into that scene you’re working on.
Image: federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Join a group
It could be a writing group, a book club or a completely unrelated hobby organization. Before the local miniature store shut up shop some years ago, they had a little club meeting from time to time where we worked on small projects (a hatbox, teeny Christmas stockings). Focusing on a different type of project was not only fun, it helped my concentration. AND IT WAS SOCIAL.
I have got to see if I can find another thing like that. Recently, I reorganized the space in my house that I use as a craft/sewing room, and dug out the remnants of my last neglected project. I finished a whole damn book; I can finish my Sweeney Todd pie shop and tonsorial emporium mini, by cracky. You’ll get pictures, don’t worry.
I can’t believe Internet didn’t even come to my mind when I was racking my brain of i-words. Great tips.
Ha ha, Wanda, I figured everybody would do a post about Internet.
I think all writers should consider joining a writing group–it’s necessary for our very survival, as writing can get really lonely.
Good idea. If there isn’t one in your area, consider starting it! :)
Stopping by from the Challenge. I strongly believe in writing groups and in getting out and about. What I gave up when I began writing was TV. I don’t miss it at all.
Hi Thelma! :)
I miss my TV. I had to downgrade it and soon will have to ditch it entirely, unless I find a job pretty quick. Thank God for Netflix. But I’ve noticed when I don’t have the programming to just turn it on and let it run, I listen to a lot more music.