by Manuel Ramos
“One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do,” or so goes the song from the 1960s. And yet, one is the number that comes closest to describing the writer’s life. We are alone when we write, of course, but that isn’t the whole picture. I can be with a group of non-writing friends and still feel alone because I’m obsessing about things that they probably don’t care about, such as where I left off on my latest work in progress. I might be mulling over a review that was middle-of-the road rather than a proclamation that I’d written the greatest mystery since The Maltese Falcon, or I could be drifting away for some other writing related reason. I create alone, edit, and rewrite and edit again on my own, and for the most part complain to myself about the sentence I can’t get right, or the perfect word that escapes me time and time again.
And that’s why the RMMWA is important to me. The RMMWA is a group of dedicated and friendly number ones who understand and relate to each other in a way that I can’t adequately describe. I just know that through the RMMWA I’ve overcome writing inertia, made new friends, celebrated their accomplishments, and shared my own. It’s the group I found right as my writing career started, and I’ve stayed with it for almost thirty years because I’ve learned that it’s the place to go to lose the loneliest number blues.
Manuel Ramos is the author of eleven novels and one short story collection. His writing has received numerous awards and recognition including the Colorado Book Award and the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize (University of California at Irvine), and he has been a finalist for the Edgar Award (Mystery Writers of America) and the Shamus Award (Private Eye Writers of America.)