By definition, writing is a solo adventure. Even journalists sitting in a busy newsroom have to wrap themselves in their thoughts, alone.
It has always seemed to me that socialising gains a deeper dimension on the back of that isolation. Sure, writers have to be comfortable in their own company first off – it’s part of the deal. But solo work can lose direction – and that’s where other writers come in. They keep the art sane.
I’m thinking of Tolkien’s Inklings, meeting in The Eagle and Child, and reading each other their latest work. Or Jack Kerouac’s band of beat-era literary greats, immortalised in his (barely) fictionalised On The Road? Kerouac’s writing tips were actually written for Allen Ginsberg – left pinned to the wall of Ginsberg’s hotel room.
For myself, I hang out with mathematicians and computer programmers. When we get together my wife makes comments about being trapped in The Big Bang Theory.
What do you figure? As a writer, are you part of a regular writing group? Who do you usually hang out with?
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013