When I was living in France, I was teaching Psychology and Sociology in English at the local university. Do I have a degree in either one of these fields? Nope. But I’m a native English speaker and the material was provided. It was an amazing job! I worked 7 hours a week my last semester and found a lot of free time on my hands.
So I started to write. NaNoWriMo was instrumental in kicking writer’s stunting (writer’s block that won’t let you write more than 5 pages of any story) but if I’m being honest with myself, my lack of a social circle helped also. At that point, my French was good but it wasn’t great enough to completely make friends with French people who spoke no English, and in my small city an hour north of Paris, my options were limited. Entering the online writing community was a godsend because it enabled me to build on my craft, while creating new friendships – in France, and across the world.
Here I felt like a door had closed when all my English-speaking friends had moved back to their respective countries and the cold Normandy winters had chilled my California bones. When in fact a window had opened, giving me structure and support for a life long passion I had not yet found the time to fully discover.
Keep that window open! Prop it with a shoe! And don’t ever forget what a gift it is to write with and be supported by this expansive community. #PitchMadness may be over but these new contacts and friendships are not.