Interstitial Moment:

Someone on one of my online lists just asked the authors to comment on the Solitary Genius theory of writing. This is what I said, and I thought it might be interesting enough for my journal readers to re-post it here, though I have tarted it up a bit more:

I know hardly any PUBLISHED (not self-published) author who subscribes to the Solitary Genius theory. It’s a truly damaging myth. I place it alongside the Genuine Artist in the Garret myth.

To begin with, no writer can be alone with all those characters running around in her head: whispering, reminding,  arguing, instructing, demanding, SHOUTING.

Then we have writing groups, conference friends, beta readers, partners/spouses/family we talk to about the work at hand. (I even have my Plot Buddies in Scotland, Debby and Bob, with whom I hatch out twists of plot.) We have agents, editors, art directors, illustrators putting their two or more cents into the creative project, most times mammothly helpful, though sometimes–the bad times–poking and prying and changing things for the worse. And then we have our friends with whom we complain and moan and handhold and weep on shoulders real or virtual.

Finally, though they may not be uppermost in our minds as we write, we have audience.

Oh, and for those of us who write for children, we also have a Secret Sharer, an often unacknowledged co-conspirator–the child we once were.

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