Writing Tips: Why We Need Our Writing Community

Book Illustration

Writing is a solitary occupation.

We spend long hours alone, apparently permanently attached to our computer’s umbilical cord. But we need that alone time, without interruptions, to concentrate and focus on our work.

And we’re perfectly happy spending all that time alone, in our created worlds and with our characters. In fact, sometimes we kick and scream a little at being dragged away.

I think it’s safe to say that most writers are a self-reliant lot.

Being a writer today means that besides writing the book, we are expected to build our own platform, set up venues to promote our books, and do our own marketing.

But this last weekend, while attending the Southern California Writers Conference, I was once again reminded why it’s so important to make time to be with our writing community.

We need to remember that although we work alone, we are not alone.

When we take the time to connect with other writers we are reminded that we all share the same challenges and frustrations…the same fears and self-doubts. Who else can know us, like another writer? We can take heart in that fact, and know that we can reach out to another writer for support and understanding.

We should take a moment to celebrate our triumphs. Too often we do not properly acknowledge our own achievements, or share them with others. It IS a big deal and when we don’t share it with our writing community we lose an opportunity to give hope to others, that success is possible for them as well.

We need to step away from our worlds long enough to hear what others are writing. It’s far too easy to fall into this trap. After all, we have to scrounge and scrape for every precious moment to work on our projects, right? But when we isolate ourselves from other writers, and other writing, we run the risk of falling out of touch with the world and our readers. Hearing another writer’s perspective may help us discover a solution to a problem we’ve long struggled to solve on our own.

We need to stop and fill the creative well once in a while and be inspired by others and the written word. Only then can we truly elevate our writing beyond what we ever dreamed we could accomplish.

This past weekend reminded me that I have, for too long, stayed isolated in my writing cave—too far removed from the very writers who have inspired me, supported me and encouraged me to keep going and never give up.

Typewriter KeysSo here’s a “Thank You” to each and every one of you. I love you all.

“Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free.
So drink.
   Drink and be filled up.”
—Stephen King

 

How does your writing community help you?

12 Comments

  1. John kevin Smith

    Indy,

    I have been experiencing the isolation you speak of, especially since my current financial situation restricts my group participation so severely. Glad to see it put into words so well.

    Reply
    • indy

      Hi Kevin – I do know what you mean. I’ve been in that situation before as well and it is tough. What helped me through those times was to reach out to writer friends and schedule some coffee or lunch dates…and set aside some time to talk about writing and find out what others were doing. It was a comfort, and helped me keep in contact with the writing community. I believe there are some opportunities through San Diego Writers, Ink to meet up for group writing times at no charge…you may want to check that out as well. Best Wishes!

      Reply
  2. Matt

    Indy,

    I just signed up for your updates because I think what you have to say is very important at this time.

    I’m not a writer, but I do write. My best writing for my websites seems to come after I’ve spent time outdoors – in the woods, at the ocean with my family, etc. Filling up the creative well is something pragmatists like me can lose sight of. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
    • indy

      Matt – so great to have you on board! And thank you. Just checked out your website and I’m excited to see you have some information I’ve been searching for! Looking forward to looking through your site in more detail. And I agree about being out in nature…it is the top way I relieve stress and stay grounded—which helps us do everything better. ;0)

      Reply
  3. Mike Sirota

    I preferred being a hermit in the early period of my writing. But, years later, I learned the invaluable nature of being part of a writing community. You, my dear, are correct.

    Reply
    • indy

      Thanks Mike. It’s something I struggle with…balancing out time to write with time for my writing community. But more and more I see the value of taking the time to be with other writers.

      Reply
  4. Suad Campbell

    Spot on, Indy. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
    • indy

      Thank you, Suad. I tend to hide away and have to force myself out these days — but then I’m always glad I did. I have to keep reminding myself as well. :0)

      Reply
  5. Kathy Paulek

    I agree! Especially with your comments about running the risk of being out of touch with the world/readers. In the past, I spent a lot of time reading middle-grade novels because that was what I was writing. Now that I am writing an adult book I am loving the perks that come with it – like reading adult books 🙂 Nice to have writer friends too – no one else really knows what “our world” is like.

    Reply
    • indy

      That’s so true Kathy. I tend to get stuck reading in a certain genre because it’s what I like to write or read. Going to conferences and Read ‘n Critique groups gives me the opportunity to listen to other types of writing, and I’m always amazed at how much I enjoy it! And I agree…no one really understands a writer, except another writer. :0)

      Reply
  6. Lynne Spreen

    Thank you for this, Indy. I’m going to share it on the Facebook page of the writers’ group I just started with members of my critique group. Because we treasure the company of writers.

    Reply
    • indy

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I hope other writers find it helpful as well. Thank you, Lynne!

      Reply

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