On this, the last day of NaNoWriMo, I want to say a huge thank you to my fellow writers.
This year, I finally found people who are (and have been) going through the same journey as myself. Writing is a lonely profession. It’s personal, it’s hard, it’s solitary. This means that writers can become very sad, lonely, and even depressed if they’re not careful.
For years, I have felt alone in my craft. I’ve felt misunderstood and odd compared to those around me. I thought that not having money come from my writing, or not having praise and acceptance in abundance, meant I was a bad writer. On incredibly low days, and there were quite a few, I felt like giving up.
But alas, I did not!
And by god am I glad that I didn’t, because this year has been the best writing year of my life, which is down to you, Writing Community.
You have shown me that I am not alone. You have shared your quirks, pitfalls, challenges, word counts, inspiration, ideas, memes, and general “ahhhh” moments on social media and they have helped me to know that the writing journey is a pretty unique one.
There is no greater profession (in my opinion) because it is so wonderfully unique. No two writers will have the exact same process, experiences, rules, education, goals, ideas, beliefs, systems, genre, tropes, and so on. Yet we can all be amazing.
By sharing our stories (be that our literal novel ideas or our personal, real-life stories), we are connecting to others all over the globe. We are saying, “hey, I’m here too, #amwriting and feeling meh!” It encourages you to continue. It shows you that you’re not weird, or lost, or broken, or alone, or sad, or behind, or incapable of connection – which is so easy to feel as a writer.
I challenged myself to writing competitions, giveaways, NaNoWriMo, and Twitter Pitches this year. I won NaNoWriMo and completed my middle-grade fantasy novel! I got interest from DVPit. I queried to my first agents this year, too! None of which would have happened without the brilliant liveliness and vocality of the Writing Community, especially on Twitter.
I feel like I’ve found a second home, and made new friends that I may never meet in person but I know that they will pop up to cheer me on or help me out.
So, I say to you, fellow writers, though our craft involves a lot of alone time, there is no need to be lonely. Don’t waste too much time on Twitter, but definitely use it to connect with like-minded writers who can help inspire, encourage, and uplift you.
How not to be a lonely writer:
- Get a critique partner: Ideally, one that lives locally so that you can meet up and have writing sessions and talk through ideas and of course, critique one another’s work
- Get on Twitter and share your woes
- Attend writing workshops, meetups, talks, classes, and events
- Join Facebook groups with other writers
- Put out an ad or share on social media “looking for other local writers” and go for a coffee with them
The writing community is there. The writing community can be the difference between loneliness and unity; between failure and success in this daunting industry. Reach out, speak up, and share. You’re not alone. We’re never alone.
Thank you, again, Writing Community for helping me develop as a writer this year. Let’s see what 2019 has in store…