There’s a plethora of advice for writers out there. Just google “advice for writers” and you’ll find it. And there really are amazing bits of advice.
Well, here’s mine: become part of the writing community.
Yeah, we all know that if we want to be writers, we have to sit down and write the darn thing, whatever “it” may be. Our projects don’t write themselves. They take blood and sweat and tears and sleepless nights (and either lots of wine or lots of chocolate). It’s a process that’s beautiful and harrowing and magical and frustrating. Walls will be put up and doors will close to test us–how much do we want this thing? How much will we work at it? If we want something bad enough, nothing should stand in our way.
But here’s the thing. A writing community offers an amazing opportunity of support. A certain amount of cheerleading. It allows us to compare notes, to be with like-minded people who will totally understand our acronyms and crazed stories about how, in the middle of the night, we woke up with a dream that told us exactly what happens next in our WIP. We get it.
And now that the world is connected, literally, with the click of a button, it’s so much easier. But seriously, if you want to write, you need to sit your butt down and write, but you also need to go find other writers. How? Join organizations. Attend conferences. Take classes (online or in person). Join critique groups. Two of the best things I ever did when I began this journey was join SCBWI and take classes through UCLA Extension. Both have offered me an abundance of opportunities. I’ve learned craft and met some amazing writers, many of whom I still keep in contact. I met my critique partners through a Litreactor course and SCBWI conference.
Something else that, for me, has been such a wonderful experience–joining Twitter. The networking possibilities it offers are amazing, and I’ve been able to connect with other amazing writers and authors.
I have found that the writing community is a close-nit, supportive one, and if you want to write, join it!
4 thoughts on “So you want to be a writer?”
Especially important when you finish that piece you intend to submit for publication. You need that informed reader who can point out what worked and what didn’t.
I’ve rewritten endings after hearing three beta readers independently offer identical critiques.
Absolutely! We get so involved in our worlds that it’s easy to miss some simple problems/solutions. Beta readers and critique partners are an indispensable part of the process.
Great advice. A good crit partner is immeasurably helpful! And I resisted having a blog forever, but now i love mine, cause it’s been such a great way to connect with other writers! 🙂
Absolutely! 🙂 On both counts lol I found that contests (like GUTGAA) and social media (like Twitter) have also been such great networking tools. I’ve met some amazing writers that way!