How social does a writer need to be?

There are many stereotypes surrounding the personality of a writer.

When you think of someone as a writer, you think of idiosyncrasies, erratic behaviour, absent-mindedness. You imagine a person who is prone to moodiness and sudden flights of inspiration. You picture someone who is uncomfortable around people or who observes them for writing material only. You believe a lonely existence, someone who can open the fridge completely in the nude because she is always alone at home and the fridge won’t think it rude.

And you would probably be right.

Writing is a solitary craft. When we write, we are alone in a universe of our own making. Our inspiration is a jealous mistress. She won’t be shared with anyone – not even a loving partner.

Once we complete our work, however, every writer no matter how shy or retiring, seeks an audience. Nothing helps a writer more than belonging to a community of writers. Other worshippers of the written word whom she can respect, whose feedback and opinion she can rely on, people with whom she can discuss her craft.

So it is essential for writers to shed their image of being aloof, withdrawn, and self-absorbed. It is imperative that writers stop being solitary animals and go forth and make contacts. Because writing is also a profession. Any profession requires us to network, make contacts, know people who can help us get ahead in our lives.

In today’s context, a writer will need to have her own website, tweet regularly, blog often, and be on Facebook if only to send and receive pokes. She will need to promote herself, submit her work constantly to online periodicals and journals, and collect her rejection slips religiously until the happy day of actually getting accepted arrives. This way, there is a greater chance that she may get her work published, be known to and by the right audience. This way, she is sure to touch lives with her writing.

What do you think? How social does a writer need to be according to you? Or does getting social, networking, doing social networking get in the way of actual writing? Leave us a comment.

About bangalorewritersworkshop

Bangalore Writers Workshop (BWW) is interested in fostering the creative mind, encouraging a community, and making writers aware of who they are as creators of text. Bangalore Writers Workshop is a unique, effective, and interactive method of bringing a group of writers together and allowing them to study the craft of writing while simultaneously receiving constructive feedback on their own work. BWW uses the workshop method. We run intensive creative writing workshops with small groups in Bangalore. Our groups are fuelled by passion and the creative energy of people with diverse life experiences. Find out more on our website. www.
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4 Responses to How social does a writer need to be?

  1. Subhakar Das says:

    Gone are the days of the hermit writer. In today’s context, social media, however intrusive, also provides an opprotunity to test your work, market to potential readers and interact with the reading public

  2. Andaleeb says:

    I feel that there has to be a balance between the two, but the greater part of it has to lean towards the writing aspect, more than the social networking aspect. I agree with you that writing is indeed a lonely job and I’ve found that when I’m in the middle of a book, I think about the characters, their lives and events constantly – when I’m cooking, when I’m on the Scooty, when I’m teaching the kids..etc’s like I’m living in a parallel universe. But once the book is done, yes, getting back to reality is called for. Normally, I have a group of people who read my stuff as I write it, so that way they help me stay grounded as well and much as I’d like to, I’m never far away from the reality.

    • bangalorewritersworkshop says:

      Thank you, Andaleeb, attempting to balance things is what we need to do. Good on you for making it seem easy.

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