Like so many things in life, when you have a support crew, you just do better!
Writing is a very isolating task. There can be many days spent in your own thoughts or with your head down at your computer. The research phase before writing requires your focus and then post-writing, the editing phase requires a lot of dedication.
A commitment like writing a book does require the support of the people around you. I’m fortunate to have a husband who wants me to do this. He wants to see me succeed and will take the kids when I need to work. He has pushed me to attend writing courses when I was nervous, and has listened when I’ve needed a sounding board. Other family and friends are encouraging, and I love them for that.
One of the courses I nervously attended has resulted in a great writing support group. I have met the most wonderful writers who are all on the same path as me, hoping to publish a commercial book. We’re all writing different genres, but our commitment, joys and worries are largely the same.
When I first started writing my current manuscript, I was nervous to share it with other people – what if they thought it was flaky? What if I’m not really that good at writing fiction? My crew, however, have always been supportive and critical in a helpful way. As a group of writers, we cover crime, fantasy and women’s fiction, and it’s fascinating seeing each other’s stories progress. Our styles might be different, but our concerns often overlap, and we learn a lot from each other.
The greatest joy of having a tribe is sharing. We have shared our writing and been open to the feedback. We post links to industry information, opportunities and writing tips. And of course, we share books that might be of interest to another.
We are all focused on becoming published authors. So, now we are planning on taking our next step and not just sharing our writing, but practicing our pitching with each other. We’re making online video call dates to put ourselves to the test and get the pitching part perfect before we meet real-life publishers. It’ll be nerve-wracking but hilarious fun at the same time. This wasn’t my idea, it came from the fantasy writer and I’m so thrilled with her initiative because I need the practice. Also I miss them, so seeing my writing tribe online will be so good. It’ll be the boost I need to keep going!
As someone who is largely an introvert – oh my gosh I love the sanctuary of my home office! – finding a group of writers has been a game changer for me. We cheer and push. We vent and joke. We check in and check out as needed, knowing that there are fellow writers waiting in the wings, wanting the best for each other.
My biggest tip to other aspiring writers is: Don’t do it alone! Don’t be afraid to share your idea, there are plenty floating around. Seek, share and surround yourself with writers who get it.