While the writing community is vast and wonderful, the act of writing itself is often described as a solitary one. And unless you're co-writing a project, the actual writing itself does happen alone. Whether you're holed up at home or writing in your favorite coffee shop, ultimately you'll find yourself alone with your words, creating rich characters, spinning fun plots, and diving into worlds of your own imagination.
As a writer, I spend hours and hours alone each week, writing, revising, brainstorm, day dreaming, and reading. I cherish those hours alone with my words, because I know without them, I could not write. But in some ways, it's the time I spend with others that brings the most richness to my writing.
So this week, I give a huge shout out to all the people who helped me progress from solitary writer to a happy and supported member of the writing community.
My Local Writing Group
The members of my local writer group are some of the funniest, most supportive writers I know. We get together once a week to critique each other's work, learn new techniques, and share in each other's success. I've learned a ton from all of them and look forward to our get-togethers every week.
The YA League
I'm a member of the international YA League. We're three authors from the US and UK who all read and write YA novels. We started the group to critique for each other and support one another through the querying and publishing process, but we became fast friends. I can't imagine my life without them, and I'm so excited to meet them all in person this summer in Scotland!
The Twitter Writing Community
The published authors, new writers, agents, editors, book bloggers, and YA lovers I follow on twitter, whether I've ever actually tweeted at them or not, provide a solid foundation of writerly community. They post links to excellent blogs, spark fascinating conversations about diversity in YA, cheer me on when I'm having a good day, and send tweets of encouragement when I'm struggling. The folks I follow on twitter are smart and super funny, so I'm bound to find something to spark my interest when I scroll through my feed. If you're a writer and you're not on twitter, get on there and start following other writers! If nothing else, you're sure to find yourself reading new writing articles you wouldn't have found otherwise.
My Friend and Sounding Board
My friend, co-worker, and sounding board Jaimee has been an invaluable support while I write and revise A STOLEN THRONE. I'm the type of writer who needs all sorts of ways to work through plot and character problems: day dreaming, music, journaling, scene sketching, and talking it out. Jaimee has been a great sounding board and has heard all about AST from the initial drafting stage through my current revision process. She lets me talk through any problems I'm having and her psychology background has been a huge help while I muddle through character changes. She's great at making me pause and consider how a certain character would react to a situation rather than how I want them to act for plot reasons. With her help, I'm learning to ask those questions myself.
So, thank you. Thank you to all the people who make the writing community such a wonderful, fun, and supportive one.
You tell me. Who makes up your circle of writing friends and support? Or do you prefer to keep your writing life private?
Happy Earth Day and Happy Birthday to my baby brother! He's 16 today. I feel OLD!