Many years ago (seven!) when I began writing in this online space, I wrote nearly every day – partly because of the excitement that comes with a new venture, but also because of the connections forming between myself and other writers. We visited each other’s writing spaces daily, like children checking their secret hidey-hole in a hollow tree to see if any new messages had arrived. We joined and created groups that provided prompts for our writing, that gave us a little spark to incite ideas to flow.
We wrote and wrote, telling our stories, honing our skills, learning from each other about writing and life. We emboldened one another to try new things – poetry, haiku, flash fiction, even novels. We encouraged and cheered from whatever part of the world we lived.
Over time most of those connections have faded into the ether. People who bared their souls in words on the screen suddenly disappear from orbit. Having no other way to contact them, one is forced to ponder – were they real? did they exist? have they been abducted by aliens?
I miss them. Miss their unique voices, miss their life stories, miss the inspiration and impetus to write they often provided me. Like the cafe society that Fitzgerald and Hemingway enjoyed so much, the online society of writers we formed in those days was a way to connect with others, to share ideas, to support each others efforts, to discuss books and art and life in general. In this decade, it seems that personal blogging has been usurped by the faster, quicker connections of Facebook and Twitter.
Writing is a solitary occupation. And writers tend to savor the solitary, so much so that we forget how much there is to be gained by sharing ourselves with others.
I’d like to enjoy that again.
How about you?