Writers talking shop: solidarity or solitary
Here on BlogHer, we have this writer’s group that sits underused in terms of activity, although I wonder if it is used at all in a passive, review sort of way. I frequent another site devoted to women writers of all types who wish to enhance and hone their writing skills. Each has things that they do well; to me, both sites are complementary.
Yet if there is one thing I’ve noticed on both, it is how we interact on topics in the news, things like food, children, sex, politics, and on any number of other topics. What we don’t do is talk shop as writers.
Why is this? Is it because most of us work alone and do not collaborate when we write? I sit here day after day writing stories, editing stories, refining stories. It is all of my own creation, with occasional feedback. Repeat that dynamic across the writing world, and I wonder. Are we uninterested in talking writing because what we create may not be out and visible for discussion, or if it is, we only wish to talk about the subject of our writing, rather than how we created and developed the subject? The technical of our craft are something we view and work as personal preference?
Does pride play a role and get in our way? Do we cheer when someone publishes and simultaneously fear because we’ve not yet run that gauntlet? Is it because the subject is uninteresting? Or as mentioned, are we set in our writing ways, and have no need to chat on ways to develop our skill?
I’ll say flat out that my technical skill – if you were to ask me to start breaking down elements of a sentence – are not what I’d label as expert level. I’m not afraid to say that (or learn within context, such that I retain the lesson.)
So writers writing… is ours a lonely professional existence, not one we are prone to talk shop? Is this solitary rather than solidarity our lot?