Writing is a solitary endeavor.
Writers peck away on laptops, tablets, typewriters, and in long-hand dictating stories being told by the voices in their heads.
Most times, it’s a comfortable collaboration. I mean, who doesn’t get along with their own brain? (Don’t answer that.)
But things aren’t always blue skies and free coffee refills.
Plot twists unwind, harsh thoughts are tossed around and characters retreat to the shadows to sulk.
Writers take their socially awkward selves straight to Snapchat and put on bunny ears, to Twitter to troll their friends, or to YouTube to watch sad videos about darkness and loveless worlds.
No words are being written and writers wonder yet again why they even bother. Careers in mass transit (read; UBER) or the culinary arena (read: DOMINO’S) are considered as well as taking a shot at being the next YouTube sensation because if that guy can do it, well…
But then you find a new four-star review on your last book on Amazon. You open your email to great feedback and winning praise from beta readers. A blog you follow has a great post on Scrivener that will save you time. An editing service you’ve wanted to use is running a buy now, use later special… and offering a 20% off deal.
And you smile.
Your day has turned around and things aren’t as dark and dreary as you believed. The sun will come up tomorrow, and you’ve figured out how to smooth the wrinkle in your WIP.
All because you walked away from your WIP.
No, this isn’t a post about the art of procrastination. No writer needs help with that.
It’s about knowing when to walk away from writing and reach out… for help, encouragement, support, FUN… and accountability.
Some writers can get so caught up in their own heads, they get stuck in a loop, moving neither forward nor backward. They need help and don’t realize it. They need to interact with like-minded individuals. (Who understands the mind of a writer better than other writers and avid readers?)
They could avoid a good deal of anxiety and thoughts of career changes if writers build—or strengthen—their network of support.
Families are generally the first level of support. Even if they never read a word of your writing, share the basic details with them. Never put up walls between your family and your writing.
Join a writing group. This can be a daunting challenge and can take time to find a good fit.
Just being a group of writers is not enough. Also writing in your genre is not enough. Even being close in age is not enough.
And being in a group is pointless if you do not interact. Trade blurbs or sales page details for critiques. Find a paragraph-partner or find out if the group allows public posting and critiquing.
It takes time to build trust in any group or team a writer joins. I wouldn’t advise joining any group and sending out entire manuscripts or even chapters to people you just ‘met.’
Make a plan with your group/team. Set dates/deadlines for brainstorming sessions, progress updates, and manuscript reviews.
Be reliable. Our obligations outside of writing will always be the priority but make your team aware of delays. Don’t be the weakest link.
I haven’t found my perfect fit writing group yet, but I do have a few amazing writer-friends who will point out my overuse of commas, my reluctance to hit the publish button and my tendency to use too many words when a few will do.
Not at all like this post. 😀
Day 12 word count – 23,519