The Insecure Writers Support Group meets the first Wednesday of every month. This month's prompt is:
What's your favorite aspect of being a writer?
It may sound counterintuitive, but mine is that it's that rare opportunity in life to be totally in control of one's own destiny. I'll begin to justify this insane claim by noting that I'm writing this month from Hub Citi, rather than my self-titled blog, where I'd previously posted all my other IWSG thoughts, and in fact all my other writing thoughts, since 2012, when I self-published my first book. This is because I'm continuing to try and escape the clutches of a maniac who has progressively become a stalking troll in my Internet life. I started blogging in 2002, and at that time and for almost the next decade I stuck to one blog, which is what you'd normally expect from a blogger. When I participated in my first A-to-Z Challenge in 2012, and gained some actual readers, people began to find out I had multiple blogs operating. I launched this one in 2011. I originally set it up as my reading blog, as well as a record of what was at that time in my library (many things changed about that a few years ago). It's been one of my least-utilized blogs in recent years. If the stalker troll doesn't end up suddenly caring it exists, it may become my new central hub (as it were).
So aside from all that, I have another confession to make: the last month has been pretty rough in my life as a writer. I nearly gave up the pursuit out of utter frustration at the total lack of connection with readers I seem to invariably garner. It's one thing to have sympathetic comments from bloggers, and I appreciate the IWSG despite what I just said, but a writer really dreams of having their material embraced for what it is. I think it's great there are plenty of eager readers out there, some of them equally eager to lavish praise on what they read, but I also think it's a completely different matter to truly connect with the material. I'm talking the kind of rabid devotion that led fans of all ages to gobble up the adventures of Harry Potter, which incredibly finished up nearly a decade ago. I don't mean to say rabid devotion of that kind is what every writer needs or craves, but to write something that truly means something to someone, it's far more difficult than anyone tends to admit. It doesn't help that this is exactly the level of writing that I've been aspiring toward since I finally made the commitment to be a writer, as the way I most keenly identify myself.
But the best thing about being a writer? Writers write because it's important to them. I don't tend to trust writers who admit they have other goals in mind, or otherwise are easy to identify with that goal. It's one thing to feel compelled to write, but it's quite another when what you write is a direct extension of your perspective on the world, however you choose to interpret it. That's something that can't be taken away. Any other challenges or setbacks a writer experiences, removed from the pressures of finding an audience, writing is its own reward.
That's what's so important to keep in mind. To my mind, it's the distinction that separates people who write for the sake of writing from those for whom this is everything that's important to and about them.