The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Writers: Even the Lone Ranger Had Tonto

Writing is one of those lonely, go it alone sort of professions or avocations. You research, write, and edit ... edit ... edit alone ... and your name stands alone on that cover (for better or worse) once the book is published. It can give one a "Lone Ranger" complex. You feel you HAVE to go it alone and (not wanting to appear weak or someone who can't pull him- or herself up by the proverbial bootstraps) you LIKE going it alone. But remember, friends, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto to let him know when he had strayed off the beaten trail.

Here's the truth of the matter. We humans are wired to be social animals. We need the community of others to keep us on an even keel. We need well meaning folks who like us enough to tell us when we have gone around the bend, over the cliff, or off the deep end. We need a loving person to act as the slave who stood behind the Roman general returning in his chariot from a victorious battle to whisper in our ears, as the slave did for his general, the much needed reminder "You are only human!" Others are needed to deflate the balloon of pomposity that grows when things go well and to help pick us up, dust us off, and take away the whiskey bottle when things go wrong (as they are wont to do in this field of endeavor).

Cultivate a cadre of trusted friends and loved ones who can keep you from jumping on your mental Silver and riding off into the sunset of delusion. Keep them close and apprised of your thinking and your progress. Better them than a harried editor or feisty critic somewhere down the road. It'll keep you sane and help you avoid the worst transgressions somewhere down the literary trail.

Wishing you luck pardner.

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