|The Death of Chatterton by Henry Wallis|
When I started writing my epic romance novels, I used to sit all day at a desk, often without the heating on, and immerse myself in the swashbuckling world flowing out of my fountain pen onto paper. I was lucky to have a small(ish) computer (it was about the size and weight of a paving stone - regarded as 'portable' in those days) to type my stories up myself.
|The poet Keats, from |
Poets' Biography blog.
Nowadays the internet has made self-publishing all the rage. More than that, however, it has allowed writers to come together and chat about their craft in ways that overcome the isolation of the garret way of life.
I belong to three writers' groups online, two on Facebook and one on a publishing site. Without naming them, cuz some of them don't want a lot of undue attention, I'll describe them here so you know what to look out for.
The first - a romantic writers' site, is pretty dreadful. It consists of writers popping in to post a message saying: My new book is out. Buy! Buy! Buy! Quick, buy, buy .... I don't think anyone reads anyone-else's posts. I made an effort in the early days but I never go there now, I'm just too lazy to delete my membership.
|From ComicBookMovie fansite|
|Moi on the board. |
(Duchess: the classic MILF.)
There are threads here which are about writing and publishing problems. People give generously of their time and experience to suggest solutions to these. There are also threads where you can practise your writing skills, such as the Six Word Story. (OK, if I am around this one descends into blatant flirting.) There are also 'party' threads. Here people shoot the breeze over a virtual drink and snack. (OK, the one I go in is just blatant flirting.)
|See The Frisky for details|
Most of the time, though, I go in a party thread and have a coffee, lounging about offering platefuls of whatever I'm cooking for breakfast. There may be a cub around who will pretend to help with the housework or one of the Dirty Old Men with whom to swap lingerie links and gardening tips. I can have a cosy chat with a couple of girlfriend flirts, I mean fellow writers of flawless prose. Anyone who's feeling like it's a bit quiet sitting at home penning their new stroke fiction, er I mean delicate work of stunning imagery and rollercoaster emotions, pops in and just picks up a bit of flattering flirting, friendly banter, sympathy or cooking tips.
Seriously, though. No, I mean it! seriously. There's a lot of camaraderie and mutual support to be found, not only in reading our work, or encouraging each other to ignore the peculiar comments of Anonymice on our lyrical lines and keep writing. We volunteer to edit each other's writing, rush to provide advice on how to make a good-looking book cover for free and post petitions in support of independent bookstores and free speech.
Lonely existence writing in a garret it is not!