The Writer’s Walk

One of my favourite things about being a writer is what I like to call walking the writer’s walk. When you’re walking the walk you’re out there in the world of authors and readings and book launches and writing festivals—all kinds of literary functions.

Calling ourselves a writer, even feeling it deep in our bones is one thing, but there’s more to being a writer than talking the writer’s talk. Anyone can talk about being a writer so long as we can find someone willing to listen, but I believe we also have to walk the writer’s walk.

For a long time I didn’t walk the walk. For a long time I was oblivious to the outside world of writing. I lived in my own little writing world. I wrote my stories, I reveled in the contributor’s copies of my work I received, and kept on writing. Little did I know there was a literary world out there just waiting for me somewhere with other writers just like me, writers who were willing to be my friend, to share their experiences and offer advice. Being a solo act can be mighty lonely.

syr

Author, Syr Ruus reads from her novel, “Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart.”

Having participated in literary events, writing festivals, having attended book signings and launches for other authors has so totally enriched my writing life. Just the other Friday evening I attended an event at the Linc in Lunenburg. My good friend Syr Ruus was reading as well as poet Carolle Langille. These two ladies are absolutely marvelous. Seriously, check out their work if you haven’t already. There was also an open mic that evening and other writers and poets got up and read their work. I can’t begin to imagine the courage it must have taken to read before two such renown authors. (Certainly more courage than I would have had at that stage in my writing.) I say good on them!

In the weeks ahead I have some book launches to attend that I’m so totally looking forward to. Not only do I get to support some of the writers I know, and have met, but you just never know who you’re going to bump into at one of these events. Could be someone who’ll end up being a friend or even someone who has an interesting story to tell. Hey, you might even rub elbows with an editor you’ve been longing to meet or an author you’re just dying to speak to.

A writer’s walk is about immersing yourself in the literary world, attending events, supporting one another, getting to know your fellow writer. We’re a community, a community of like-minded people. Mind you, it’s impossible to attend every literary event, but you’d be surprised at the number of writers, and would be writers, who aren’t willing to engage themselves in the writing community at all. I say they’re missing out on a lot. In order to be a writer it’s important to walk that walk, to count your every footstep and claim that path as yours. Seriously, if you want others to support and lift you up as a writer, you should be willing to do that exact thing yourself.

Poet/writer, Carolle Langille.

Poet/writer, Carolle Langille.. 


Do you make an effort to “immerse yourself” in the writing community, to walk that writer’s walk? If not, what are you waiting for?

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16 Comments

  1. I love being part of the writing community. I have to say that is what I miss being in Spain. I feel I am missing so many writer´s events. I always came away learning something new or making new writer friends. I went o one book signing in Canada a couple of years ago where I met Mary Barr. She connected me to a publisher here in Spain earlier this year who has published my most recent book (translated into Spanish as well). Writers really do help other writers. It is a wonderful community. Thank heaven for social media or I would feel entirely cut off!

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    • Darlene, that’s a wonderful example of how these events can have a positive impact in our writing lives. Social media also helps bring us together and I’m sure i’d feel lost without it. Congratulations on your newest publication. How exciting that it’s been translated in Spain as well. SO happy for you. 🙂

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  2. syr ruus

     /  June 1, 2015

    If you didn’t drive great distances in your efforts to support other authors, I would never have met you, Laura Best, and possibly not even read your exceptional writing–and what a loss that would have been for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • Well Syr, coming to your book launch was one of the best things I’ve ever done, even though we almost didn’t make it! It’s a good thing the ferry had just docked or we never would have.

      I value your friendship, your kindness, your support, your wisdom, and the way you can always lift me up when I start to feel defeated. I can hardly imagine not getting together to have a good “gab” session with you from time to time. As I said in my post, we just never know who we’ll meet at writerly events!

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  3. I’d be lost without our writing community. Going it alone is like blind sailing. I go to readings and lit chats, whatever is available that I am able to attend. It’s inspiring to be with like-minded people no matter what walk of life you are in. 🙂
    Thank you for this post, Laura. 🙂

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    Reply
    • The writing community is much like the blogging community, we support one another and that’s a truly wonderful thing. So glad you’re walking the walk. It really does enrich a writer’s life!

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  4. What am I waiting for? Confidence. Confidence in my work, confidence in my ability to sound like I know a bit of what I’m doing as a writer. So, no, I’m still pretty much going it alone.

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    • Oh, Linda, I do know that confidence is something that grows over time, and accepting who we are and what we do, allowing ourselves to admit that we know what we’re doing, is all part of it. You’ve had so much success in the literary world, slowly your confidence will catch up to you. And congrats on another new book about to be published! I’m so happy for you. 🙂

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  5. I love this post and your mantra “walking the writing walk.” I was so nervous/scared/not confident before I joined other writing groups and then began teaching creative writing. As a writing teacher, I love seeing confidence bloom in a writer’s face as she begins to believe in herself and her writing. I’m shy, but yes, going to writing groups, speaking at book clubs and listening to writers like myself, getting myself ‘out there’ is a great walk indeed.

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    • So glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 In the beginning, one of my biggest fears was that, should I ever have a book published, I’d likely have to read from it in public. I eventually had to tell myself I was willing to accept all those challenges and I was ready to have a published book. It really did make a difference. Also, the more we actually do, the more we put ourselves out in the public eye, the easier it gets. Of course, you know that!

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  6. I’ve made more of an effort to mingle in the world of writers in the past five years than the first 12 years of my writing life. I enjoy seeing other writers shine. I’ve met several new writers in the past two months at different events, and every time my feelings about the writing world are reconfirmed: it is a nice place, a friendly place where everyone helps one another. I love that.

    And if I hadn’t hurried from work to Chapters one weekend day, I would never have meant you!

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    • Having you come to my signing was a real highlight for me, Diane. Not only are book signing notoriously unattended, but I knew you went out of your way to be there. I meant a lot. You’re exactly as you seem on line and I think that’s a real compliment.

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  7. I like the solitary life of a writer, but you’re right, there’s nothing nicer than spending time with other writers. As humans we’re meant to fellowship, interact. Don’t like speaking in public too much, but the wine and story nights are fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Hey, I need lots more practice speaking in public as well. Don’t mind reading, but speaking is different. Yeah, I need more practice.

      Nice to have you drop in. I know you’re taking a break. I tried to comment on your last blog, but you know my problem. Hope your two months way is fruitful! I sure it will be.

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    • Trying to get my confidence up in speaking also…love one on one but groups not there yet!
      Still, it’s exciting to think of overcoming my fear.

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