But the majority of the time, writers work in quiet solitude. I would put forth that, most of the time, writers prefer that work-time solitude. I know I do.
Take writers as a group and plunk them on the continuum of human social interaction, however, and you'll find a heavy preponderance of introverts. Not all writers, clearly. I'm speaking in generalities, but a high percentage would certainly fit that description. They have their personal circles—friends and family—but in many cases, friends and family don't truly understand the journey a writer is on. So much of that journey is lived on an internal landscape. Family members may have a difficult time providing the types of support a writer needs most. Co-workers at a day job are in a similar boat, if they even know their co-worker writes on the side to begin with. For writers who pen stories in genres like erotic romance, for example, they may have to keep all evidence of their second career completely hidden for professional reasons.
So where do those often-solitary writers go, especially shy, introverted writers, to find writerly support?
As a romance writer, I resisted joining Romance Writers of America (RWA) for years, because I was too shy and insecure to think I was worthy of belonging to the same organization as all of my romance-writer idols. But once I walked in the door of my very first local meeting, it was like a weight I hadn't even known I was carrying was lifted from my shoulders. I had found my tribe.
Since then, the amount of support, shared knowledge and camaraderie with which those women have enriched my life has been an incalculable benefit to the professional support of the organization itself. I'm a better writer, and a better person, for joining their ranks.
If you're a writer, shy or not, I highly recommend finding a writing group (or two or three) to join. Not only will you find professional support and a knowledge base available nowhere else, you will gain the personal support of people on a similar journey.
Writing is a tough business. There are times when only the commiseration of a fellow writer will see you through the darkness and out the other side. There are times when only you will be able to be that supportive person for someone else. Build your networks now, and we'll all be better for your efforts in the future.