Writers know that writing is for the most part a solitary occupation. There we sit, in our den, office, shed or wherever doing the hard yards, knocking out the words. Line by line, paragraph by paragraph, page by page and chapter by chapter. Then there are the edits, revisions and a whole plethora of activities that draw the process out to the limits of elasticity until at some point, the end means the end.
Book drafted, beta read, copy edited, formatted, printed off and stored in a folder somewhere close to the workspace. The data has been backed up and all that can be done is done, even the dreaded synopsis and blurb.
But still, the writer stands alone. From my experience, with the exception of brief contact through e-mail or some other kind of digital communication to beta readers etc, the whole process has been undertaken without the contact of another soul.
This is why the writer must venture out into the big wide world and make contact with people, situations and nature. Not only will it start to fill up that resource pool of ideas for future work, but it will also make the writer feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
It is important that a writer feels “needed,” even if that is just being amongst other writers at writers groups or conferences and so on. Understanding that the process that they have just gone through for perhaps 6 or 9 months is also one that others have been through somehow makes the writer feel part of something bigger than just their work. In doing so, it is likely that someone will share an experience that helps the writer for future projects.
Like many things in the world, being part of an understanding and supportive community is at the heart of who we are and what we do.