This is why I love this tree in the picture. It's a lone cypress tree just of the coast of the Pebble Beach golf course in CA. It's the only thing of green on that rock and yet it holds on with such tenacity. It stands there, daring the world to get in its way: proud, tall, and alone.
Sometimes as writers we have to be the tree. When people say "you can't grow there, it's a big rock" we just have to dig our roots in wherever they'll squeeze and show those doubtful meddlers we can grow. When people say "you're all alone, a freak, an outsider" we just shrug, look out at the ocean and remember that while we might be alone, we've got the best view on the planet.
When it comes to writing, community isn't just about knowing when to connect with people, it's about knowing when you need to go to that room of your own and close the door. When nurturing a small sprig of story, we can't let everyone water the plant or it will drown. New ideas are fragile and can get easily squashed if not protected.
Julia Cameron calls this "containment" and I agree. I've made the mistake in the past of letting too many writers and non-writers into my "circle of trust" and subsequently stories have been pulled in every old which-way and got torn to pieces. Now I have a smaller circle of trust. One person reads my rough drafts and pushes me forward, five readers form a critique group that reads more polished work and one reader is my go-to person for career stuff and big-picture notes on my work. The rest of the time, my best company is me, myself and I.
What about you? Are you comfortable going it alone sometimes?