Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Thoughts - The Virtual Water Cooler

If any of you have ever worked in an office, or at least had co-workers sharing space, you know what it's like. You're never alone, there's always someone to talk to, you overhear gossip, you sometimes slip out for lunch together. Your work mates are your community. Well, I miss that.

So to make up for the lack of chumming around with work buddies, I play with my online writing pals online. And you know what? It's better than meeting in-person. There's more of us, that's for sure. Like an entire building's worth. Depending on the kind of virtual water cooler situation you're into, you can even "listen in" on conversations (lurk) as well as have private discussions (PM).

I don't know what I'd do without my online writing communities. I participate in a few, and some can be addictive. The one that sucks me in the most is the Absolute Write Water Cooler Forums. There are 30,000 members, each have varying interests, and you can chat about anything from how to train your puppy to asking for a critique of your query letter. There are even discussions about cooking, politics, screen writing, and every genre of fiction, short and long. It's an awesome place to have stimulating discussions and make long-lasting friendships.

I do have to force myself to stay away sometimes. The urge to communicate with other humans can be compelling. I can talk to my cats and my puppy all day long, but their only way to talk back is meows and barks. I need feedback, support and encouragement now and then. Online gatherings are almost as good as getting together face to face. Only I don't have to change out of my sweats or put make up on. That's awesome!

How do you converse with other writers? If you don't work during the day, do you ever feel the need for adult human companionship?


Theresa said...

I connect with other writers by playing around on other writer's blogs. Sometime..okay often... way too much. Sigh.

Merc said...

I'm anti-social enough I don't interact much during work in general. :P But I do like to talk to other writer folks online, so mostly I hang out on Critique Circle, or IM a handful of crit buddies and friends.

And I follow and participate on blogs. All in all, that usually works for me. :P

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Great blog!

I like to communicate with other writers mostly through blogs (like this) and sometimes I lurk on various forums, although in the bigger ones (like absolute write) I usually feel too shy to join in. As nice as online activity is, I do sometimes miss the camaraderie of talking to real live adult people.