Monday, March 19, 2012

Inspiring the Isolated

Writers spend a majority of their time in isolation, most often locked away in their own little world - spinning, weaving and working on perfecting their craft as they translate the stories they’ve been given into written form.  While this new digital age has opened a portal into simulated interaction with the rest of the world at the touch of button, it has also brought another level of separation.  No matter how much access we have to people online, writers still need a balanced interaction of physical contact with the human race.  How else are we to observe human relations in order to translate those reactions, behaviors and expressions in our characters on the written page to our readers?  

It’s one thing to suppose something; it’s quite a different thing to know.  When I’m reading a story, I can usually tell when the writer had in-depth and intimate knowledge of what they wrote, from one who only supposed how things.  It’s okay to suppose, especially in a fantasy format, but it’s best to know all you can to give your work a feel of authenticity. 

There’s a huge difference when I’m talking and meeting people face to face at book-signings, club meetings, speaking engagements or just out in public, than when I meet someone new on the internet.  I can see body language and real reactions, not just words written across the screen.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m excited when I receive a fan letter, meet or connect with another author who shares the same interests, or come in contact with people in the industry doing their jobs.  But there’s still a level of disconnect between us that doesn’t compare meeting face to face. 

Keep doing what you’re doing; keep plugging away and working hard on completing the goals in front of you, but don’t forget to set some time apart to mingle with your peers.  If you know a writer that’s been out of sight for a while, reach out to them.  It’s so easy to become lost in that isolation. We need one another, and not just to learn from, but also to support, encourage and inspire.  While we can do some of that with our keyboards, the best inspiration comes with a smile.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

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