In recent months, I have been busy revising and editing my first novel. I've been sucking down books as quickly as I can purchase them and contributing scores and reviews to the SPFBO8 contest. I have submitted articles to several magazines (which have all been graciously declined - grump!) while also been working on a VERY tentative foray into urban fantasy. What I have not been doing is blogging. I guess I told you what I have been doing as a way of begging forgiveness for not posting blog entries.
However, when I've thought about what I wanted to write in this post, an overwhelming need to thank the writing community at large has been forefront in my mind. Admittedly, it never occurred to me before graduate school that I might need or enjoy being part of a writerly/readerly village. I always considered both activities to be quite solitary in nature. And in the execution, they are.
But, the immense joy of squeeing over a book shared with other readers is incredible! The comfort found in commiserating with other writers over uncooperative characters and plots is wonderful for combating authorial anxiety. When I am weary with syntax, diction, formatting, etc, I know I can count on the WC to understand and encourage me to trudge on. When I finally solve the tension problem that has plagued me for months, invariably the WC is there with congratulations and occasionally, a lovely glass of wine. Likewise, I rally to their standards when these literary compatriots are flagging. I celebrate their victories and curse their defeats.
We've all heard it said that we are all in this together. No where have I found this to be MORE true than in the writing community. On the whole, these are the most supportive, positive, encouraging people I've ever had to the privilege to meet...even if I know most of them by only their online personalities. They are simply EXCITED about the written word and engaging with them is invigorating.
If you're sitting in your cave, scribbling frantically, afraid of being seen, and feeling insecure in your abilities, I encourage you to be brave. Get on Twitter or Instagram (maybe TikTok for as long as we still have access) or even the dreaded FaceBook and simply search for "writing community" or "bookstagram" or "booktok" or your particular genre. A world of new, likeminded friends is waiting for you. Find your tribe, your village, your community. Engage with them. Wrap yourself in the comfort of knowing you are not alone; you are not operating in a vacuum.
I am ever so glad I did. And, if you want, look me up.