We all, to an extent, have the mental image of a writer tucked away in some sort of amazing writing nook, writing away with a keyboard, typewriter, or quill pen while drinking copious amounts of tea or coffee. They’re just writing a book by themselves in their own little world. After all, isn’t that the stereotypical picture of an author? And don’t we writers even embrace that image a little?
But writing isn’t a solitary activity. Yes, aside from coauthoring, only one person writes a book. But it takes more than one person to get that book written. Pick up the book closest to you and flip to the acknowledgments. That’s a picture of how many people it takes to get the book written and published. It’s more than just the writer and the publisher. Writers need community.
I am fortunate to be a part of a couple writing communities and have writer friends.
First off, I’m part of the RealmSphere, which is the online writing forum-of-sorts hosted by Realm Makers. Honestly, the RealmSphere is pretty big, and a little overwhelming. I don’t interact a ton in it, but it is a way for me to connect with other Christian writers in my genre.
My main writing community is The Fellowship–as we’ve dubbed ourselves. The Fellowship is a group of Christian writers I met through Instagram. We all bonded over our mutual love of Enclave Publishing, and soon became friends, talking about writing, books, and everything in between.
I also have writer friends from my time in The Young Writers Workshop. While I’m no longer a part of that program, I have kept in contact with several of the ladies I met through it.
I’m thankful for all of these groups, and here are two of the reasons why I’m thankful for them, and why I think that all writers need community.
1. Community Will Help You Grow
Find a community with writers all throughout the writing journey. You’ll probably be able to learn from all of them.
Authors who’ve been writing for a long time or who have been published will doubtless have plenty of things you can learn from. But you’ll be able to learn from your peers too. They’ll be able to give you insight on a writing topic that they know more about. They’ll be able to point out potential plot holes in your outline. They will help push you and stretch you as a writer.
And helping and critiquing writers who are not as advanced or further along in the writing journey will also help grow you. You’ll learn to convey the topics you know and understand, and also learn where some of your weak spots are.
2. Community Will Support You
Writing is hard. Ask any writer and they will tell you that. Perfectionism is always waiting to strike. Doubts rage. Editing kills our creative spirit. And drafts seem like they will never be finished.
It is so easy to get discouraged while writing. And that’s why you need a writing community.
You need people who will reach out while you’re in a slump. They’ll sympathize with you, but also help push you out of the slump. They’ll give you the encouragement you need. They’ll help you see past your inner editor and critic to the diamond in the rough that they see.
When you’re struggling to come up with a twist for your book, they’ll help you brainstorm and throw enough ideas at you until you’re covered for a couple books. When you’re struggling to stay motivated while writing, they’ll do a writing sprint with you.
Yes, authors do sit alone and write books. But they aren’t alone in the journey of writing. They have people to grow, motivate, and brainstorm with them. And that’s why acknowledgments exist.
Do you have a writing community?