I've noticed an interesting trend... or rather, lack thereof...
I've been thrilled, but not terribly surprised, that much of this group has either come along this independent writer journey with me, or at least been regularly supportive as I transform from a fan fiction writer to an original fiction writer. This group ALSO was the source of my first Facebook friends, so they have gotten the day to day madness all along.
But What About All Those People Who Love Us… Like from forever?
Among my friends accumulated over a lifetime, it has been downright intriguing to see who is interested and who is not. It may be as simple as those with a writing interest are interested in the process a writer is going through, but the takers and the 'non-takers' among those old friends could be the content for a psychological dissertation I think.
I should probably confess I am a lousy correspondent. Pre-Facebook I lost a lot of people for years at a time. I am lucky if I get Christmas cards sent every third year. I don't like the telephone and rarely use it. I live on the other side of the country from most of my friends and family. I'm a recluse. That said, I AM the one among my high school 'clique' who gets a group email going now and again so we can all catch up... I tracked down several people in my high school class to pester them into joining Facebook. Being anti-social doesn't mean I don't LIKE people (I adore people, in fact I think I have far fewer people I dislike than average—I can find things I really like about almost everyone). It just means I am more comfortable interacting in written form, but have managed to get too busy for the individual letters I used to be so prolific with. I only have about two friends I correspond with one-on-one with any regularity via email, and one of them was part of my new batch of Harry Potter friends who I just happen to have a lot in common with. So I think I'm clear I'm not exactly dishing the love, either...
But back to my train of thought...
Other than that, I haven't been able to sort the hows and whys. There is a little bit of 'who has time', but that isn't entirely it. Of my aforementioned high school clique... not one. No takers. They haven't a clue what I'm doing (or if they do, have not said 'boo' about it, in spite of my flashing nature, so they KNOW I have written a book)--yes, a busy group mostly, but I find it odd. Yet other friends from high school I've had long conversations with—some I didn't even know all that well at the time, but they've been amazing and hugely supportive (including ALL the people who are friends with my author profile or follow here)...
College friends aren’t quite so mysterious, as I was terrible, terrible, terrible at keeping in touch with this set after college, so I am just honored ANY of them are around, and there are a few.
My family? My cousin's wife reads. I know my uncle HAS and he is always really nice when he does. But my aunt and mom have both received portions of CONFLUENCE and have never said a word (maybe it is the swearing in chapter 1). I just find the whole dynamic fascinating. I guess it’s possible they hate it (and there are some not very nice mothers in there, so it’s possible I’ve offended, though neither of these are based on MY mother—other than the neat freak thing, but the BOOK neat freak is sort of a cold fish and my neat freak mother is very warm (possibly too warm… she doesn’t grasp why I am more aloof)—my point being, neither mother has anything to do with mine.
I am really curious what other writers have found. I am PARTICULARLY curious if it changes on publication... if maybe people keep their distance because they are skeptical--incapable of being supportive without evidence. It's possible I have a really wonky batch of friends ( I KNOW I have a wonky family), or maybe this is why so many writers stay in the closet so long... but I'd love to hear.
Also from FOLLOWERS… is it a curiosity about the WRITING or the WRITER? Though I suppose that is an awkward one to throw out there… I am just deeply curious about the WHY of the people who are interested. Hoping for some insight on the NOT.
All that said... there is another parade of peeps going on... I have been comfortable with my writing legs for a little while now. It has been four years since starting to share what I write, three since diving into CONFLUENCE in a committed way—my first original. I now have two books under my belt and am well into a third. But this NaNoWriMo thing has sent me running for the comfort of companions who have been part of this process with me all along.
I mentioned Tara and Maria both joining yesterday. [everybody pray to the computer gods for Tara’s laptop] I found out about another taker, Auriga, who I admire all to heck, because not only does she tell a great story, she tells them in English, when her native tongue is German. A couple more might join and I just have to say, that as much as I ADORE the new writing community I've become a part of, it gives me a little extra courage to be surrounded by peeps who've been with me since I first came out. (Tara was my first ever reader!)