"It is the easiest way to meet fellow writers, to get inspiration and motivation.
It makes writing a less solitary profession."
|Mela Writer at Milk Wood|
(Picture by Camie Rembrandt)
Interview with Mela Writer
Camie Rembrandt: How long have you been using Second Life?
Mela Writer: For about eight years now, since 2007. I started using Second Life to attend a meeting of German writers.
CR: When did Second Life become important to your creative writing? Was it something that happened immediately after starting using this virtual world? Or did you have to wait a few months, maybe even years, before incorporating SL into your writing routine?
MW: It took years. I started using SL more often around 2009 when I discovered the virtual campus of my university. I discovered Milk Wood sometime earlier, and I started to attend the Dashes now and then. But the "dashes" turned out to be to rushing for me. You are supposed to read the works of the other participants and to say something about it, and I was mostly just halfway through the reading of the works when everybody hurried back into RL. Thus, I had a long break using SL on a regular basis for my writing. But I struggled to find a reliable writing group off-world, and I came back since I discovered the 500-word snatches. First every Saturday and Sunday and now daily from Monday to Thursday plus Saturday and Sunday.
CR: Tell us a bit about what you do in Second Life, as a writer: do you write in-world, attend events, maybe host some of them, do you mentor other writers?
MW: I attend the 500-word snatches, a monthly meeting of German writers, and I visited in-world workshops. I, too, have rented a building at the seaside on Book Island, but I don't exhibit my work. At least by now. Sometimes I'm going in-world to see my avatar sitting and writing, to get in writing mood. I use SL mostly to get away from writing for money and to work on some fictional stuff.
CR: Is there any SIM/virtual island/region that you find particularly inspirational, the kind of place every writer should visit?
MW: Milk Wood is a great place for writers. So is the "Brennende Buchstaben" (burning letters) Café. You'll meet there mostly German-speaking writers. And, of course, Book Island.
CR: In what ways do you find Second Life helpful for someone interested in writing?
MW: It is the easiest way to meet fellow writers, to get inspiration and motivation. It makes writing a less solitary profession.
BIOMela is a journalist and non-fiction writer from Karlsruhe, Germany. She has published two non-fictions books and is a regular writer for two print magazines. In addition, she is blogging a lot.