Second Life, Look What You’ve Done to My Writing Life!

by Joan Kremer on April 23, 2010 · 9 comments

in Benefits of SL,Writing in general

This blog has kept me extremely busy the past few months.

“What?” you say, “then where are you hiding all the posts I don’t see??”

Well, not just this blog, but several other blogs, as well as all the other riches I’ve discovered in Second Life.

I can hear you now:  “Has this woman gone completely nuts??”

Not yet. But OK, that’s enough dissembling for the moment. :-D

4-23-10_rock This blog, and all things related to Second Life, have, in fact, indirectly caused my days to be filled to the brim with all the tasks related to the novel I’m currently working on.  Which is why I haven’t taken the time to write many blog posts or do much exploring in virtual worlds.

Oxymoronic, I know.  But let me explain.

I’ve been a writer for almost as long as I’ve known how to scribble a word onto a piece of paper.  My greatest passion has always been to write fiction—short stories, novels, a little poetry.  As of February 2008, I’d written a number of stories and poems, even had some luck with publishing a few.  I was struggling through the umpteenth draft (actually, only the fifth) of what I’ve come to call my apprentice novel.  It wasn’t my first, but it was the first I’d completed and revised enough times to say I’d “crafted” a novel.

In the years before that, when work and life “permitted,” I’d go for stretches where I’d write every day; then I’d stumble through just as many periods, and perhaps longer ones, where I would only think about writing every day. Two and a half years ago, I was at one of my peaks of procrastination, and just about anything could distract me—including my work as a corporate training consultant.

It was under that guise that I decided to explore Second Life.  I’d heard this virtual world was being used as a new medium for training by corporations, and I thought I should find out how I could add it to my training toolkit.

But I’ve come to learn I generally never know what anything is really about.  And SL was definitely not about expanding my training consulting practice, I quickly discovered.

It was about expanding my creative writing.

So thanks to the people I’ve met in SL—good friends, fellow writers, distinguished authors—and to all of the incredible ways Second Life supports writing and the other arts, this virtual world has sparked an acceleration in my writing career unlike anything since I learned how to make stories out of words.

4-23-10_writers

One of Second Life's pleasures--hanging out with a group of writers every Monday

Previous posts on this blog are full of the details of how that happened, and there’s no need to repeat them.  It’s the summary that I’m looking at today, the big picture of how my writing life has blossomed in the wake of discovering the SL writing community.

  • I’ve vicariously lived through the roller-coaster experience of having a novel published, thanks to my best friend in SL and writing partner in first life, Cynthia Hand, whose debut novel Unearthly has just gone into production at HarperCollins and will be released next winter.  That experience has given me an incredible education in the publishing business.
  • On average, I’ve written at least 5 days out of every week for most of the past two years, even if it was for just a few minutes.
  • In addition to the education I’ve received from observing Cynthia’s experience, I’ve learned more about the craft and business of writing from writers in SL in the past two years than in the previous ten, I’d wager.
  • I’m about two days away from finishing the third draft of my second novel, the one I hope will be published as my debut novel.

How does that explain my claim this blog has kept me very busy lately?

  1. Second Life inspired this blog.
  2. This blog inspired me to explore in even more ways how a virtual world like SL could spur my writing.
  3. SL’s writing community and the writing friendships there inspired me to write, write, write!
  4. Thus this blog has indirectly kept me too busy writing my novel to write blog posts lately.

Is that a convolutedly-good enough excuse for you?  LOL (one of my favorite SL expressions – laughing out loud).

The one thing writers can be almost as creative about as their writing, is their rational-sounding excuses for not writing. It’s ingrained, it’s a habit; I needed one of those excuses to justify working on my novel instead of this blog!  And I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will all be worth it. (I’ll report back on the outcome!)

But I’ll bet you can come up with far more imaginative reasons than that for excusing why you haven’t done something or other.  I’d love to hear them, so please add yours in the comments section and we can LOL together!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Skylar Smythe (1 comments.) April 23, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I couldn’t agree more Joan. Second Life has done the same thing for me. It has increased my writing output from a sporadic amount to a minimum of 3000 words per day. Which is huge. I learned a new discipline and I love it.

Connecting with other writers in Second Life keeps me on track and on my toes in terms of honing my craft and learning from the talent and experiences of others. SL has become a haven for my “inner artist” and my writer thrives there with the accessibility of friendships with incredible writers from around the Globe.

Of course my family thinks Im a bit odd. I should be out drinking my face off in a bar or watching television because those pursuits would be “normal” and so much more intellectually stimulating than collaborating with smart people online. Learning about their lives feeds the characters for my short stories and their victories and losses inspire my poetry.

It is (and I hope it will remain) a haven for creative output.

And you are simply divine Ms. Zerbino…

Love,
Skylar
Skylar Smythe´s last blog ..It’s all about the eggs… My ComLuv Profile

2 Joan Kremer (71 comments.) April 26, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Skylar, you are a large part of why the SL writing community is so incredible! It’s wonderful to hear how Second Life has helped your writing life, too. It get it how hard it is to explain to others what this virtual world does for one’s creativity, and I[‘m so glad you go to SL instead of to the bars. :)

I highly recommend others to check out your blog Avatar Writes, as well as the one linked to in your comment, to get additional insights on Second Life and the writing/arts communities there!

Thanks so much for your comment — you are divine yourself!

Joan

3 Abel (1 comments.) May 7, 2010 at 12:55 am

Second Life fascinates me.. although I do feel like a little like a moth being beckoned to by a flame!! it keeps crashing my computer.. which I think only means that I need to invest in some better hardware. Everything I read about it draws me in.. thanks for your post, it’s may just be the encouragement I need to take the final plunge.

4 John B (1 comments.) May 12, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I signed up for Second Life early in 2009. During the next few months, I was engrossed. Although I found it interesting, it ate up a significant amount of my time. Maybe I did not find the right group a individuals on this post did.

5 Kimi (1 comments.) May 21, 2010 at 6:39 am

I never tried SL, but heard it alot. As a mom of two i am quite busy with my kids and my two blogs, i am afraid i will be addicted as i am to blogging, so i won’t try :D
Kimi´s last blog ..Secure Wordpress Part 1 My ComLuv Profile

6 herbal smoke (1 comments.) June 19, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Skylar, your writing is superb and although takes up significant time, it is always very good!

7 Justin (1 comments.) July 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Second life can be very useful as a training tool but it can also be very fun as well. One must be careful not to get to wrapped into the experience as it can have a harmful impact on productivity.
Justin´s last blog ..Buds Falling Off Tomato Plants My ComLuv Profile

8 Columbus DJ (1 comments.) July 23, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Wow… I had thought that 2nd life wasn’t as popular any more… I guess its just out of the news! Glad its working for you!

Akron Real Estate Agent

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