Being Alone in the Vast Vast Universe

I’m never alone, it seems. I have people about me from the moment I wake up until … well the moment I wake up the next day.

Maybe it’s crass to mention, but really the only alone time I get any more is in the toilet. And even then, sometimes, I have someone knocking on the door asking a question.

So, it’s kinda bizarre then that I feel so alone in my writing.

I don’t need people when I’m actually in writing mode. It isn’t that. But I need people who are willing to read and comment when I get to that point, who can review and critique, who are committed to helping. And those are the people I can’t seem to find on a consistent basis.

I’ve been working on two novels consistently now for several months. One is nearly finished, and while it’s had a few critiques of various parts, no one has given me comments on the whole. The other is still in the initial chapters and I’ve had tons of critique on it … so much so that advancing is becoming a problem. I can’t seem to get it edited fast enough to move on for my readers.

Of the two novels, the one that’s almost finished is my favorite. Historical fiction with mystery and suspense and a little romance. It retells the story of a former slave and his ultimate curse on a local cafe through the 1930’s segregation in the south. It isn’t bashful. Nor is it cliche. I don’t know why no one will review it. I guess handing them seventeen chapters is too daunting?? Shrug.

The other novel was started as a spoof, a joke, a bit of comic relief in a long class period. Something referring to vampires and the such. I’ve had no shortage of readers for it though. In some ways, I’ve had too many, each with their own opinions, even though they all claim to love it. It was always my plan to self-pub it as a lark just to see what happened but now I’m not so sure.

So what is it that makes it so hard for writers to get good critiques without having to pay out the arm and leg for it? I never had this issue as an architect. There were always other architects willing to give a critique, offer help, share their knowledge. And when I’ve painted and sketched and sculpted, I’ve had tons of help.

So why the writing loneliness?

I really don’t get it. Of all the writers I’ve met, they are, for the vast majority, a lovely lot of people. They are friendly and cheerful and they love to talk about their art.

I’d say it was because I haven’t given enough critiques for them or something, but that isn’t true. I’ve critiqued everything that anyone has ever asked me to. I sometimes probably go too far with it even … but I always give what I would want to get back. And I’ve never charged anyone.

I’m beginning to believe that I live in a hole in the universe, an alternate time period, with a void in exactly what I need.

Alone, in the vastness of space, surrounded by words, words, and more words. Maybe someday, they will save me.

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2 thoughts on “Being Alone in the Vast Vast Universe

  1. I’ve found that most of my writer friends are too busy with their own work to devote time to reading my entire manuscript. And I totally understand that. I’ve been blessed to find a woman who loves to read the type of fiction I write and she gives me great feedback and encouragement. I met her when a friend mentioned her daughter majored in English. She happened to be the age of my target audience so I asked if she’d be interested in critiquing my manuscript. Maybe if you haven’t yet, you need to look for a reader instead of a writer to look at your work. Good luck.

    • Thanks for the idea. That’s usually the problem with my writer friends too. I had a couple of reader friends who were helping and then one of them won a fellowship and is busier than me now and the other developed medical issues. Such is my life. I met a guy at our writing conference who has published three novels now and he said he never had anyone read them before he sent them off. There is always that option, I suppose. Ha! It will all work out in the end, I’m sure.

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