“If you ever get lonely, just go to the music store and visit your friends.”-Penny Lane, Almost Famous
I started freelancing the same year that movie came out. A friend taped it off PPV for me since it was about a magazine writer. I watched it every day during a long lunch break between scouring the Internet for writing opportunities and creating press releases and newsletter copy for local businesses. Aside from the fact that it featured a tiny part by my fave musician, Peter Frampton, it showed the writer’s life to be hopeful, delusional and frustrating all at the same time. Virginity-popping threesomes and epic rock tours aside, it still resonates with me today; the main character is constantly worried about deadlines and getting the job done.
I remembered the movie quote above when I could finally go to the bookstore, pick up a magazine and see my name. It became more relevant as I gained writer friends online; I began to look for their bylines too. Magazine articles became books, and I loved each rare time I found a friend’s name on a shelf.
Now, 95 percent of my writing community is online and those names are bountiful in the stacks. Last time I went to Barnes & Noble, I bought four books, each one by someone I already knew via Absolute Write, Twitter or Facebook. I learn from them, admire them and feel like I’m in on something special. It’s a delicious thrill, one that I’m eager to share whenever my book finally finds an agent, a publisher, and a space on that shelf. My time is coming. Until then, I have social media, texting and e-mail.
But when I feel lonely, I still go to the bookstore and visit my friends.