Writing is not only a solitary activity, it can also be lonely at times. While no one can put the words on the page but you, it really does help to surround yourself with other writers who are supportive and will be there to help you on those days when you just can’t stare at the page anymore, or when you want to tear up your manuscript, or have decided that you can’t write!
A support network of fellow writers is important to help you meet goals, share your trials and tribulations and to be there with love, sympathy, understanding, wine and chocolate when your literary career seems bleak or you have major news to celebrate: You finished your book! You landed an agent! Your publishing day is approaching! You made your word count for the day! Whatever the goal, whatever the writing disaster, you need support!
The wonderful thing about the Internet is that you can find support online as well as in person.
For fellow writers of Women’s Fiction I highly recommend the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. It’s full of wonderful women (and yes, men), who buoy each other up on our writing journeys. We also have a wonderful Facebook page you can join once you’re a member.
If you write romance, I recommend the Romance Writers of America. Join your local chapter and attend the monthly meetings and/or join one of the online chapters. There’s a chapter for just about every subgenre of Romance, and it’s another place where everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – is supportive and focused on helping each other achieve their writing goals. I wouldn’t be the writer I am without the wonderful support from my local Los Angeles Romance Authors chapter and the online Women’s Fiction chapter of RWA.
Both WFWA and RWA along with many other writer’s organizations, offer ways to meet via conferences, contests or online write-ins. They’re places to find critique partners, beta readers, and like-minded scribes. You are NOT alone. Find your “people” online or in person. Type in the names of your favourite authors online and head to their websites: They often have giveaways, links to other people’s blogs, newsletters and more links to writers in your genre. Don’t be afraid to “Like” their author pages on Facebook, where you’ll find more writers to connect with.
No matter where you find your writing soul mates, remember, they ARE out there and they will likely become some of your best friends – for life!
I’d also recommend some great blogs to follow and connect on including:
Every writer also finds their inspiration and “clicks” with different teachers/mentors – either in person or online. Those who have “spoken” to me include:
- Agent Donald Maass (who has wonderful regular posts at Writer Unboxed)
- April Kihlstrom (whose Book in a Week workshop changed my life)
- Margie Lawson (get out your highlighter pens and prepare to dig deep!)
There are many, many others out there too. It’s all about finding who works best for you.
Finally, when you’re feeling low and blue and have received your umpteenth rejection, or are wondering why you ever thought you could write in the first place, I highly recommend reading the inspirational words of the brilliant Laura Drake. She’s the poster child for “never give up.” If she can survive years of rejections and 400-plus “no’s” before landing an agent, a multi-book publishing deal and a major writing award, then you can’t give up yet!
Read her inspiring story here: