Thursday, April 05, 2007

Writing Life

By Nichole Giles

As the signature at the end of all her emails, my good friend G. Parker has written, “Writing is life.” And while most writers generally agree, at Authors Incognito, we tend to take that statement very literally.

I believe I am guilty of taking this fact for granted. After the conclusion of the LDStorymakers conference, we were blessed with the addition of several new writers to our group. Those of us who have been members since last year (or longer) have become accustomed to checking our emails every day to see a question or comment from at least one of our many writing friends. But, these questions or comments don’t always pertain to writing.

It was one of the new additions—Rebecca Talley—who mentioned the existence of other lists out there that allow writers to only comment on writing. And I thought, how sad for them.

This is not the case for our group. Our discussions vary, according to the day and season, and have covered a multicolored range of random topics. From pets and gardening, to parenting and laundry, cooking and cleaning, and health and happiness. Our topics have even been known to lead us down the road to religion and death. Granted, we all belong to the same religion—kind of a prerequisite for our group. The only topic we try to stay clear of is discussion of politics, since political discussions often turn into debate.

Writing is life. It gives life, it feels life, it becomes life, and it is all about life. And the thing is, you cannot write about a life you have not experienced. Every bit of writing, in every genre and every topic, has a piece of someone’s life. As writers, we are required to share pieces of our lives, and often the lives of those around us, with our readers. That is the reason some of us choose to write.

We share with each other, because we are writers, who are writing about life. If I knew them—I would ask the moderators and rule makers of those other groups; what part of life doesn’t have to do with writing?

When you figure it out, let me know. Because I cannot think of a single thing.


Tristi Pinkston said...

How very true, Nichole. Every experience we have plays directly into our writing. Your group is right to talk about anything that's bothering you, all your successes, little jokes, and anything else you so desire. You're not just building up a resevior of writing experiences, but you're building friendships, and in this industry, it's crucial to have those. Writing is a solitary thing -- network with other authors and support each other.

Marsha Ward said...

Years ago, a writers organization I belong to whose members meet in various chapters around the country (no, it's not RWA) instituted an email group for critiquing each others work--backwards from what AI did. After a while, it was hard to sort out the requests for critiques from the requests for prayers, tales of family, etc. We split the group into two, and it functions well that way. Right now we're comforting a grieving grandmother on our social group and critiquing a poem on the critique list.

Nichole Giles said...

Thank you, Tristi. I agree. These friendships are crucial to our writing health. Thanks for commenting.

Marsha, what a great idea for your group. I often feel very close to those in our group because of these connections we share. Thanks for your comment as well.


G. Parker said...

I'm glad my tag gave you inspiration, Nichole! LOL well said.

Nichole Giles said...

You're welcome, G.Parker. Thanks for the daily reminder. Writing IS life.