Personal connections

For many years I’ve blissfully clung to the notion that a writer must be a lonely, starving artist feverishly writing by the light of a flickering candle in a drafty garret at the top of a ramshackle house. Surely it was the way to greatness and success; only by knowing extremes could my writing be imbued by the truth and the depths of humanness. Only toil and suffering could forge a true artist.

The problem with that image, well, one of the problems anyway, is that a lonely artist will have a heck of a time getting their work out to the world. Like anything in life, success depends on the connections you make and the relationships you forge.

Just like an agent or editor who is closed to submissions, might be willing to look at your work if you attended the conference they spoke at. Or the author you meet at a bookstore reading and signing event might be willing to give you just that piece of advice or feedback that changes your writing from good to great.

I wouldn’t have figured out how to rewrite “The Fountain Pen” - which recently sold and should be available soon on - if I hadn’t gotten feedback from others.

Even the most introverted among us should get away from the desk from time to time. It seems simple, but sometimes the simple lessons are the hardest.

And sometimes we need to truly get away from it all. Not to revert to that lonely state, but to be truly inspired.