If you were the only writer in the world, and there were no blogging buddies, critique partners, or beta readers... would you keep going?
I don't think I could.
I picture what it must have been like for early writers who scribbled away on parchment or in notebooks without the technology that allows me to move an entire paragraph or just one word with Ctrl X, Ctrl V. I imagine my friends thinking I'm crazy because I'd rather write than go to a ball or a party. Can you just taste the disappointment mixed with utter loneliness that some of our favorite writers must have experienced?
Two of my heroes are J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Individually, they're epic and respected writers. Together, in their little Inklings group of writers, they are pure awesome. What would one of them have been like without the other?
Answer: Like me, minus Amparo, Lindsay, Kelly, Angie, Kristal, and Michelle (my Operation Awesome critique partners and blog buddies). Sad. Discouraged. Alone.
I can't even tell you how many times one of them has cheered me up or kicked my butt into gear. And I couldn't possibly count or even recall every time one of your blog posts (yes, you, reading this blog) has taught me something about writing, or reading, or being human.
Without you guys, I wouldn't know how to start a story or how to finish one. I wouldn't understand story structure or characterization half as well as I do now. And I'm still learning from you.
We're not alone. And that makes writing 100% fun and 0% lonely.
For a glimpse at how much I've learned from my blogging friends, check out Pot Holes and Aha Moments in Your Writing Career by me over at Operation Awesome.