Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday Thoughts

I've been thinking a lot lately about how wonderful it is to be part of an online community, mostly in regard to writers. I've met so many people and made so many great friends whom I never would have encountered without the cyber connection.

Writing is a lonely endeavor. Or it can be. Before the Internet, I'd have to wait a whole year for my favorite annual writers conferences to come around so that I could reconnect with writers and get inspired and motivated again. For fourteen years I attended the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold conference, and occasionally the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. That was my only opportunity to meet other writers and industry professionals.

Thanks to email and online community forums and yahoo groups and blogs, you can meet with your writer friends daily! If you want to. Sometimes I really want to. I almost always connect with a few of them every day. I think back to how it used to be and it makes me feel bereft. How did I cope with the emptiness before? I don't know. And though nothing's quite the same as pressing flesh in person, cyber handshakes are pretty cool, too.

There's so much available to writers online these days, aside from just the writing resources and industry news. I'm not even all that proficient with the myriad tools that are out there now. Lots of writers have Internet access, but many have limited knowledge what to do with it. So I'll be teaching a workshop about online resources and communities at this year's Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold conference coming up this September in Denver, Colorado. Not all the details are available yet, and those that are haven't been released for some reason. As soon as they are, I'll definitely post them here.

If you're reading this now, you're probably a friend or acquaintance I've met online somewhere, or you were directed to my blog by one. Whoever you are, I hope to meet you in person someday. But if not, cyber space will do just fine. Thanks for stopping by!


pikestephenson said...

I'm not someone who likes to throw the word "friend" around but I have to say that I agree! Meeting folks such as yourself and our gang at the Coffee House has been such a great motivational tool. I enjoy sharing our publishing woes and the successes that sneak in before we all flip totally out. If it weren't for the internet, I don't think I would have pursued writing as vigorously, or grown at all, and this is insanely due to the numerous other writers I corespond with daily.

Thank you, Karen, for being one of those writerly e-friends!

Karen Duvall said...

Oh, Pike, that's so sweet of you to say! And yeah, I was thinking of my CHOP buddies from the Cooler. Everyone is so awesomely supportive of each other. Thanks for being my e-friend! 8^)

colbymarshall said...

Hey Karen! I agree with Pike, it's so good to have e-friends who understand the ups, downs, REALLY downs, and HIGHS that come with being a writer. Thanks for letting me get to know you- I'm enjoying pal-ing around with you a lot :-)