No doubt about it. Writing is a solitary pursuit. A story idea comes to you. You think about it alone. You research it alone. You write a first draft alone. Revise alone.
In between those steps, if you’re lucky enough to have writing friends and colleagues you trust, you share what you’ve written. You receive criticism, hopefully helpful, but even when it is, YOU have to decide if and how to integrate it into your story.
When it’s polished and perfect, you work on a query letter meant to inform and intrigue literary agents while you investigate said agents to find a good fit for you and your novel.
And then you query. And query. And query.
And wait. And wait. You’re occasionally lucky and get a nibble–a request for 3 chapters, or the whole manuscript. And then, while you wait to hear from those agents, you research others and query some more.
When agents answer with things like ‘solid writing’ or ‘terrific story but not for me’, you read them alone. And when you’re frustrated, you read other writers’ novels. Reading is also a solitary sport.
In singular moments, other story ideas come to you and you begin to think about where this one’s going. And you write.. alone.
You set aside a completed work which hasn’t found a publishing home to complete that second, and a third. You tell yourself it’s not your time, but that that time will come.
And you write.