Being a writer is no walk in the park. If you are trying to make writing your career you have to put in a huge amount of effort, as well as get used to the idea that there will be many bumps in the road, and days where you don’t think you can do it. Days where you want to give up, where you get another rejection, where you aren’t taken seriously, where you wonder how you are going to pay your rent this month and so on!
That’s why it is so important that writer’s stick together. We know better than anyone how tough it is out there, and how lonely and isolating our work can often feel. Trying to help one another, encourage one another and support one another is crucial. We shouldn’t look upon one another as competition but instead see how we can learn from one another, and how we can help teach one another too.
So what are the ways you can support your fellow writers? Let’s take a look:
It’s very easy to only want to talk about your own work. To discuss in detail your story, your characters, what projects you’re working on. You're excited about them and passionate about them after all - and that’s great. However, it is important to remember to step back from time to time and make room for your fellow writers to talk about themselves too. Taking time to listen and acknowledge and appreciate what other writers have to say is important - it builds relationships and actually might help you learn something, or look at your own work in a new way too.
Getting constructive criticism on our work is so helpful. Being able to critique each other's work and offer feedback that we know will be impartial and helpful is extremely useful. Obviously critiquing fellow writers work is a difficult job, and needs to be done with sensitivity. Always find positive things to say alongside the more constructive bits of criticism you want to share. The more open you are to doing this the more likely you are to get other writers to critique your own work too.
Joining writing groups whether physical or virtual is a great way to feel part of the writing community, to build friendships with fellow writers, to share your experiences, fears, and successes and generally support one another in all aspects of the writing process. Writers groups are great for anything such as seeing what the other members think of your new book cover design, or just asking for some friendly advice when you are feeling creatively blocked.
If you want to support your fellow writers then read their books! Reading one another books and leaving reviews is a great way to help boost one another’s profiles. Think about the last time you got a positive book review from someone - it feels pretty amazing right? So the more we can do this for one another the better.
Follow one another on social media
Being active on social media has become increasingly important for writers over the past few years. But it can be difficult to get a good following. Seek out other writers and follow them on social media, sign up for their newsletters, and follow their blogs. Doing this for one another shows your support, strengthens the writing community and could open up doors for you too. Supporting your fellow writers is a mutually beneficial relationship. You’ll feel great knowing you are supporting one another and helping to realise each other’s dreams, but in doing so you’ll also learn a lot, and hopefully build some amazing lifelong friendships too!
I know I'm said this before, but I'm still trying to find some writing groups for support. But that's been nearly impossible in the small town I'm from. I've tried asking on Facebook in groups devoted to our town and county, but to no avail. I don't want to have to drive too far for a group, especially if it meets at night on weeknights. I've followed numerous other writers on Blogger and some of Facebook and Twitter, so I've got that last one covered 🙂 But I'd really love to see other people's writing in progress. And I'd like them see to see mine. I just don't seem to have the motivation to start a group, but now maybe I should, but I don't want to pay $20 a month on meetup.com. There must be another way.