I’ve had many writers tell me they like the solitary aspect of writing and they don’t require a community in order to function and hone their craft.
I respectfully disagree.
I liken a new writer to a swimmer.
A swimmer is motivated by those who can snag a gold-medal. It appears to be easy enough. All you have to do is beat everyone else.
Is that how it works with your writing? You throw yourself in the deep end trying to emulate the pro–You publish without editing and go it alone.
There’s one main problem and it’s a big one.
The pro has taken the time to practice every single day. Even when he’s bored and has to do laps when it’s the last thing he wants to do–but he continues.
A writer wants that elusive million dollar contract and best selling book. Straight to the top of the food chain and wants it NOW… not later… but you won’t get it by trying to take the easy route. It’s hard work.
Some don’t want to do rewrites believing a first draft is perfect–oh oh… this is a major rookie mistake.
The pro has a team and dedication to the pursuit of excellence. There are buddies that swim beside him and encourage him to go faster–to be better. They congratulate each other and high-five when the other excels.
Think of finding that same camaraderie by belonging to a local writers group or an online group. Both are really good steps to take in developing and growing as a writer. Listen to other people’s writing.
What do you think?
Read yours or allow a critique–don’t be defensive. Really listen–there could be valuable information to make your writing better.
The thing is to grow a community and have buddies who share your passion.
I’m a firm believer that writing is not a competitive sport but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to train. My Twisted Writer Brain…Writing is NOT a Competitive Sport
The pro has mentors.
Past winners will provide pep talks or show their medals to the new swimmers to encourage them and show them that it’s really possible. Having peers not only gives you something to strive for but also a realization of the hard work involved.
Mentors are invaluable in the sharing of their success and knowledge. Trained or paid mentors can be found through writing programs and they can lead you through exercises to hone your craft.
One of my mentors is Jonas Saul who I met at a writing festival My Twisted Writer Brain…Tips on How To Succeed As an Author with Bestselling Author Jonas Saul. Part 2 and another is Michelle Barker who I also connected with in my small community My Twisted Writer Brain… Introducing Award-Winning Canadian Author Michelle Barker: Part One.
There are also mentors who are experienced and successful that you can meet and talk to at writing events (we need covid over!). Read their blogs or books, listen to them read, learn.
The pro has a coach and usually a cheerleading section to provide ongoing training and encouragement.
That athlete who’s made it to the top didn’t do it alone. He’s been taught by the best and worked incredibly hard. The pro has listened and tested the waters of how to bring their own talent and uniqueness to the sport.
Take a class if you think it will help.
It definitely won’t hurt.
There are a kazillion online classes and webinars available for nominal fees that could be very helpful to you. Consider that.
There are basic rules in writing but many are constantly broken and archaic to form.My Twisted Writer Brain…Five Writer Rules
Pay attention to how the words are placed on the page and how the character profiles are built and go about life in the story.
For myself, I’m very conscious of surrounding myself with like-minded people.
I don’t want any negative-Nelly whining about how hard it is to write a story or that there’s not enough time–blah blah blah.
I want to bask in the positive energy of other writer to feed my creative soul.
Over the years I’ve met many writers from all over North America. With social media it’s easy to connect and grow the connections. This is important for me as each teaches me something new and unique to add to my repertoire.
Over the next several months you’ll meet some of the people within the writing industry that I’ve met over the years. They’ll be profiled and share their wisdom so you too can learn.
Lesson of the day–as a writer don’t isolate yourself completely. Reach out to other writers and be willing to learn.