Yesterday I read an article by author Sean Williams called “10 1/2 Commandments of Writing.” You can (and should) check it out here. The one that really caught my attention was commandment 10.5. In short, find Your People.
Every now and again the importance of this is driven home to me. Next week, I’m taking part in a blog tour for Naomi Nakashima’s Write Out Loud. Reading parts of her book, I was astounded by how badly she had needed the support of fellow writers when she was starting out. Simply put, her husband didn’t get why she wanted to write and was a complete butt about it. (Note: Those are my words not hers. Maybe she would be kinder. This was me being very, very tolerant and forgiving.)
Any-hoo, whether it is for emotional support or simply to have the support and knowledge of fellow writers, it is vital for us to find our people. In my opinion, this is easier than it used to be because the internet has created a global community. You may be the only writer in your small town, but you aren’t the only writer on Facebook or Twitter. You can find an organization specific to your type of writing.
That’s how I connected with the ladies in my critique group. As a new writer, I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I have met a wide variety of writers, researchers, illustrators and more. Some of us live in Missouri. Some of us live in the same part of Missouri. But not all of us and in truth we became a stronger group when COVID drove us online. We connected with several writers who aren’t in our immediate area. Through my volunteer work with the organization, I’m connected to writers all over the world.
As you look for your writing people, don’t limit yourself to only those people who write what you write. You can, but you’re likely to miss out on some amazing support if that is how you do it. Through the Muffin, I have connected with another global community of writers. In fact, there are a group of us who hold each other accountable, critique, and help each other market our work. While most of us are in the US, one member is in Australia.
Whether you are working to find a critique group or an accountability group or just a group of writing friends, the internet can help. Also look for writing events in your area. As so many of us are introverts, this isn’t going to be the easiest thing but it is well worth your while to connect and find a writing community or three. You never know when one of them will know exactly what you need to finish a piece of writing, market it, or simply make your day.