When I first started writing, I didn’t know anyone else who was a writer. I had no one to bounce ideas off, no one who could read what I wrote and give me real feedback, and no one who really understood what being a writer meant. I was alone.
Then I went to a couple writing conferences, met other driven writers, and became close friends with several of them. I became part of a writing community.
What have I gained from being associated with a community of writers?
- I have a place to ask questions about writing.
- My writing friends give me so much support to keep working toward my goals.
- They motivate me or give that extra push to write when I don’t want to.
- We empathize with each other when things don’t work out.
- There is so much knowledge to glean from other writers—everyone is usually happy to share.
You know the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”? Well, it also takes a village to write a book. I can’t imagine writing a book without the help and support of other knowledgeable writers. Writers give helpful critiques, give ideas to fix plot problems, encourage you to keep going when you want to quit, and cheer you on throughout your process.
Of course, it should go without saying, that in order to have others help and support you, you must do the same for them. When you offer critiques, people are willing to give critiques back. When you are kind and supportive, others will be that way toward you.
Finding your writing people can take some time. You have to find those whose personalities and writing styles mesh well with yours. Be patient and keep meeting new writers until you find a good match (or ten!).
Writing is a solitary activity, but with a community of writers, you are not alone. We rely on each other. We grow together and lift one another. We help each other keep going when it’s hard (is it ever not hard?).
Whether you’re a beginner or have been at it for a long time, having a writing community in your life can make all the difference. And you never know, you might make some of your closest friends along the way.
Wendy Jessen is the author of more than 500 articles—family-oriented articles on familyshare.com and book reviews. She recently started a website for something she is passionate about–helping victims of sexual abuse find hope and healing. Wendy is the mother of 6 spirited children ranging in age from 5 to 15. In the throes of writing a few books (fiction and nonfiction), she finds ways to procrastinate which usually involves scrolling through social media. Wendy often stays up way past her bedtime reading, loves kid-free date night with her husband, family vacations, and kids’ bedtime, aka, the human version of whack-a-mole.