(A little advice for writers, and a tribute to my cofounders at Dark Red Press)
I like to write. I could write all day long. I could write for a living, given a decent amount of sales, and if not, I’ll still write because I love it and it is the only thing I can do well and do naturally. It’s a big part of who I am, and it hasn’t been taught to me or picked up from others, it was always just there. Granted I did learn by reading, reading a lot of different kinds of writing, fiction, history, biography, everything from Bazooka Joe comics to bathroom wall graffiti (and I’m good at writing that, too).
I have always been a loner and an introvert. The fact that I like to write may come from that state, or it may enhance it (at some point what writer hasn’t said, “Just let me finish this chapter, honey,” or been a bit more honest with their oldest friends— “Will you shut the fuck up? I’m writing here!”). A writer has to be a bit of a loner (though not necessarily an introvert), because we have to be able to dive down into the murky depths of our own minds and look for buried treasure. Writers have their own thousand yard stare when they zone out from friends and family who often think we are daydreaming or just dicking around when are down deep, not realizing we are working, creating a story, or just watching one unfold. Going deep into a story cuts you off even more from anyone around you. It’s unavoidable.
Most writers have to be the Lone Wolf.
Most writers can’t afford to be the Lone Wolf. At least not in this day and age.
Which is why I am glad I became a part of Dark Red Press.
I can write. I can’t play music, I can’t fix a car, I can’t sing, but I can write like a sonofabitch. I can’t market my stories either, I’ve tried and failed. Nor am I adept at formatting my completed tales for all the different electronic publishing options available these days.
My fellow writers at Dark Red Press can do all of that, and more. They give me support and encouragement (and will bluntly suggest I shit or get off the pot when I’m dithering with a story and considering a 27th draft) and they know how to get my stories out there, properly formatted and ready for reading anywhere, any time.
Lone Wolves are cool . . . but remember that a pack of wolves is stronger. Work on your stories alone if you must, but when the time comes, join the pack and reap the rewards.