My last post got me thinking about what a great community we have as writers. So much, in fact, that I had to cut myself off to actually get to the point of that post. But it was at that point I decided I might as well dedicate a whole other post to it. Also, this is my 200th post! So I’m pretty excited about that, too. It’s interesting to see how far my blog has come over those 200 posts. And honestly, it should be well past 200 by now. But, what am I going to do? I’m certainly no time lord (although that would be pretty cool!)
But all that aside, I love being a part of the writing community. There’s an incredible amount of help out there. Although I do feel like a lot of the writing craft blogs just regurgitate the same information over and over, slightly changed as the market and reading trends change, it’s all excellent stuff. And even outside of the writing blogs, I’ve never met a writer who wasn’t willing to assist me in some way. Whether it’s beta reading, or just giving me some general feedback on something, everyone has been more than helpful, and I can’t thank everyone enough.
It’s especially tough when being a writer is a career choice that brands you as: a) Someone who likes to write little stories as a hobby, or b) someone who is insane. I often times feel like I’m labeled as the former by some member of my family who don’t quite understand how intensive the writing process is. They feel like it’s a matter of just coming up with the right idea and typing it up. Then, congrats! You’re a famous writer. But, that’s a topic for another time, perhaps.
But when writing seems more like a chore than anything else because the demons of self-loathing have clawed themselves out from the pipes in your kitchen and are sinking their fangs into your flesh as you try to write, it can seem even more difficult. I’ve never reached the point where I want to give up because I feel my writing would be better off lining the inside of a septic tank, but I’ve hard some fairly dark periods (specifically around the time when I published my second (now-retired) novel, Bloodcrest.) I received a less-than-stellar review from another writer, but, because she was a writer, she could also act as a beta reader. She talked me through some of the things that needed improvement and really helped me to figure out some of the things I was doing wrong. Not that there is necessarily a “wrong” way to write. But some ways work better than others, of course.
It’s things like what she did that make the writing community so great. She didn’t have to give me as intensive feedback as she did. She didn’t have to help me and answer my questions. But because she knows exactly what it’s like to be in that position she was able too, and I feel the exact same way. I know what it’s like to struggle to write. I’m still struggling to make this self-publishing work. Marketing isn’t my strong point, but I know that there are other writers (and even those who don’t write) who will be there to support me and to share my work, provided that I produce quality work, and that I return the favor. And really, how hard is it to share a link to a blog post or to rate/review a book on Amazon/Goodreads? Not hard at all.
So I leave you with a heartfelt thank you, and hope that my followers have enjoyed the 200 posts that have acted as a timeline of becoming a published and someday full-time writer. And I hope that I will be able to continue this timeline with new and interesting material–which seems to get harder and harder–for more posts to come.