Calisa Rhose presents ~Savvy Authors ~ The View From the Cave by Sharon Pickrel


I’m turning the Round Pen over to a special guest today so settle in and hear what Sharon Pickrel has to say about writing and Savvy Authors!

The View from the Cave by Sharon L. Pickrel

Sharon PickrelI live in a cave and have no life. 

Really, it’s true.  I don’t watch TV and I’m one of the 27% percent of folks who don’t have the radio on in the car.  I couldn’t tell you who won the Super Bowl; a fact I’m somewhat smug about.  On vacation my idea of ideal is to see how many days I can string together where I stay in my jammies all day.  I like quiet and long stretches of silence.  I don’t get most of popular culture and I’m okay with that.

And then, of course, there’s the whole writing thing.  A more truly solitary occupation, it would seem, is difficult to imagine – unless it’s the hermit thing.

There were a lot of things I didn’t know about writing when I got serious about it.  The learning started when I found a collaborative writing group and just went on – from online writing groups to workshops to writing communities.  Craft was learnable, honest critique a welcome change.  And finding those things changed a lot of other things.

But writing doesn’t thrive in a vacuum despite the popular notion that true creativity – true art, that Holy Grail of the devotee – shines in torment and aloneness when the whole of one’s vision is turned inward.  Yeah, Van Gogh was hugely talented and he painted amazing things while clinically depressed and sans an ear but ultimately the depression wasn’t what gave him the talent.  Or the success.  That was sheer, dogged determination to not give into the depression – one of the most debilitating diseases known.  It was the willed commitment to practice and study his craft and to keep doing it.  And some magic gestalt of genetics and environment which is why Van Gogh painted masterpieces and only a mother would love my canvases. 

Writing may occur due to impulse, but I’m pretty sure it only flourishes when driven by a willed commitment to the decision to keep writing.  And often, that commitment needs witnesses – the pep squad, the company in struggle and perhaps misery.  Writing needs company.  To support, to rejoice with, to commiserate, and to encourage.  It also needs it for crit partners, beta readers, advance reviewers, back cover blurb quotes, brainstorming, and sprint partners.

Writing by its very nature demands a community – not just so we all don’t become hermits or misanthropic loners. Community feeds us, no matter how we approach it, or engage it or move within it. 

Life is strange and allowed to be so, but fiction requires sense, some common thread that makes it intelligible to the reader, some tangible link to reality.   The engagement with others, one on one or en masse, gives us the experience, the knowing to manipulate that thread.  Fiction has to mirror life.  And a writer learns about life by living.  How people interact, react.  What motives them and drives them.  What comforts or confounds or compels them.  It’s also how a writer learns to build an image with words, build worlds and people and situations that are both uniquely their own and, more importantly, also familiar.

There exists an intimacy between writer and reader that at its base is the definition of community.  The writer, through the words on the page, erects an edifice called ‘story’ that the reader moves into, and becomes at home in.  The reader takes that home and morphs it into something that is now theirs, using the commonality of experience that is shared. 

Which brings us, or maybe just me, back to this notion of a community of writers and why it actually matters.  We learn from each other the way doctors learn from doctors and lawyers from lawyers.  They, like writers and painters and all the other folks who practice a craft have two choices.  Learn the craft alone, forging a new trail and ignore the one already marked and paved, or taking the road more well-traveled. 

But even I, who lives in a cave and has no life, knows life’s too short to reinvent the book.  Rather, I choose to take that past body of knowledge and make it my own.  Then, when it’s mine, to shape it and augment it to what works for me and then send that out into the community of writers I call home. 

In previous lives, Sharon Pickrel told generals how to stay out of jail, and admonished MDs and Ph.Ds to the same end.  She has also earned a living wage as a consultant on marketing and proposal opportunities, a web designer, a secretary, an office manager, an archivist, a waitress, and newspaper girl said wage being better at some places than others.

In this life she is the Workshop Director and Blog Scheduler for SavvyAuthors, a content editor for Muse It Up Publishing, a writing coach, a book reviewer and an intern with the Blue Ridge Literary Agency.

She writes Sci Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal and Urban Fantasy – with or without romance.  She also writes some suspense and thriller ‘stuff’ when the glow wears of the other stuff.  When not glued to the laptop – to the detriment of both her vision and the laundry – she reads and laments that she will surely never reach the end of the to-be-read pile, said pile made more architecturally sound due to the ereader.  She cooks, collaborates with friends, works on a new webpage and ponders ways to decorate the cave.

She also loves to hear from folks interested in presenting workshops or blogging for Savvy she’d love to hear from you.  If you’re interested feel free to email her directly.  You may follow her on Twitter,  Facebook,   Linkedln, and  Pinterest

Join the Savvy Authors admin and volunteers as we tour the blogosphere in anticipation of the launch of our improved and updated Savvy Authors 04 - 1.2 Colored Solowebsite. We are excited to share our love of Savvy, and all writing communities, with each of you during the summer months.

Below is a list of stops we’ll be making – please feel free to stop by and say hello! (and definitely check out the new look of our site)

May 27th – Melinda B. Pierce on Author’s For Life

June 10th – Ella Gray on The Speculative Salon
June 19th – Sharon Pickrel on Pen of the Dreamer ß You are here!!
June 21st – Riley Darkes on Writing Secrets of Seven Scribes
June 25th – Leslie Dow on A Writer’s Musings

June 24th – Angel on The World in My Hands
June 28th – Marilyn Muniz on 

July 1st – Lynda K. Frazier on Guelph Write Now

About Calisa Rhose

I'm a mother of three daughters and wife to a wonderful man of 35+ years. I'm also an avid seamstress, polymer clay artisan and die-hard crafter, always coming up with things to make with, and for, my six granddaughters and two grandsons. Check out my craft site when you have a moment. I'm also a small online business owner of Okie fLips on Etsy and Poshmark (eBay/Merkari coming soon), and I'm a published author of sensual romance. I write about stubborn men and women who don't take no for an answer, and there's always that golden HEA. Cowboys and first responders are my favorite contemporary heroes to write about. My light paranormal heroes are strong men ready to protect their women--not that they need protecting, since they are capable of caring for themselves.

Posted on 06/19/2013, in Blog Tour, Pen of the Dreamer, Promotion, Welcome and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I enjoyed this post. It sounds like me. 🙂


  2. Nice to know that I’m not the only one who’s idea of a perfect vacation is jammies… Great post and wonderful thoughts!


  3. Another awesome post 🙂


  4. Great post Sharon!


  5. Lovely post, Sharon! Thanks so much for sharing with us 🙂


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