One thing that I’m still getting used to about writing is the community. Team sports, clubs, or large groups of people in general have never been my bag. That’s why when I saw advice for writers to network or at least create a base for emotional support, I kind of dismissed it at first. I’d written since I was a kid, so why would I need a bunch of strangers now? And as a newbie to the publishing game, I wasn’t expecting a lot of respect from those who already have established careers. Luckily, I entertained the thought that I could be wrong, and I joined a writing site and twitter. It turns out that I was a prideful idiot.
Writing for fun while I was in school is totally different than writing to be a professional. The drive to be better at everything is consuming and lonely. I rarely leave the house, and I’m behind on shows and music trends. The last two things sound like nothing, but it’s something else that isolates me from other people. I don’t regret my decision, but working hours on end by myself makes me yearn for human interaction. If I hadn’t found support from other writers on twitter, I don’t think I could have pushed myself this far. And there are so many wonderful people in the writing game. From writers to agents to cover artists, etc, we push each other to get through each day.
It’s also important to talk to other writers because you see that becoming published isn’t magic. Everyone puts their all into making a great story and watching the process has helped me make realistic writing goals. It’s also important to listen. Something is always changing in the industry and putting an ear to the ground can prevent you from being blindsided by publisher woes. I’ve heard it said that it takes a village to be a writer, but I also think it takes a village to stop you from flamethrowing your story when it doesn’t act right.
I’m still not the most open person, but finding other people like me has made me a better writer.