Monday, January 25, 2010


As an author, most of my work time is spent by myself. I work at home, I stare at the computer screen, and on rainy days like this one, there's very little reason for me to leave my comfy cocoon at all. Nine days out of ten, I consider this to be a truly glorious arrangement.

On the tenth day, though, I have to admit that I sometimes miss the sense of community that I experienced as an office employee, and the sense of camaraderie that you can find--if you're lucky--by working closely with others. When I think back to my pre-writing days, I tend to dwell on the negatives, which helps me to know I've made the right decision for my own life. But, I do think I miss that collective experience at the same time.

Luckily, we lone writers now have ways to connect with each other online, but that never seems to quite do it for me. I am happy to rant into cyberspace about the trials of dealing with publishers, or the impatience that strikes while you're waiting to hear news from your agent or editor, but there's still something special and unique about the "water cooler" experience. The chance to mutter under your breath at the little annoyances that get under your skin, but aren't worthy of a full email or blog post to share the pain. Writers don't get that.

All of this is to say that I feel lucky to have found a small community-within-a community, a little group of "work buddies" who I get to meet in person every week, with whom I can commisserate and celebrate, and who will challenge me to be accountable for the goals I set for myself. After all, there's no real "boss" for any of us to answer to anymore, so it's great to know there's someone looking out for you.

As different as I hoped my solo work environment would be, I'm glad some things can be similar to working at a company, where you gravitate to people you connect with, and bond over shared experience. The people are out there; the "office" is just a little bigger!!

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