Friday, April 22, 2011

Being an individual

A friend of mine recently told me that I was an individualist. By this I think she meant that I like to do things my own way. This is true. I have strong sense of self and have never been much of a joiner in clubs or gangs. This makes it hard for me now to join a writers group even though I ought to.

I suppose this is why I self published too. I seem to be on a road to go by own way whether I want to be or not. And yet, can I gave up control over my work? Yes, I think so. This isn't a control issue; it's more an issue moving forward despite positive feedback from any publisher. It is an issue of who sets the standards of what is published. To me the answer is clear, I do as an individual author writing the best story I can. 

And in my case I was right. Feedback from several sources tell me that I have a good story. This gives me the convocation to continue on.

But I am concerned that I am so strong an individualist that I can't join with my fellow writers or my readers. I don't seem to encourage this. I certainly don't get many comments in my blog. So I stay alone and disconnected.

I am reminded by anthropology that humans come together in many ways. One way is to share food and, ironically, tell stories. Ancient man did this after the hunt; they retold the tale of the kill while eating the beast. This helped to bind the clan or tribe together.

This is not something I can emulate.  Here in the 21st century the best I can do is blog and tweet and share content up and down the Internet in the hope of making a connection. Somehow it doesn't seem the same, nor do I have an answer for how to improve it. Part of the problem is the sheer volume of content being generated by people worldwide. And part of the problem I am unknown to many.

But part of it is also I enjoy being alone; it gives me an opportunity to write. Still I would like some social interaction with writers and readers.  And this is clearly a case of try to have a donut and its hole at the same time, something Douglas Adams referred as a sense of intelligence.

Perhaps, for now I'll opt for being alone so I can write.  There'll be time for others later.

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