One of the first, surprising things I realized when I began to write was how isolating and lonely it can be. I loved living in the world I was creating. Imagining my characters’ emotions made me feel alive. However, I discovered that the creative process of writing required, perhaps even demanded, a degree of isolation. I needed the power of a writer’s community.
Honor Your Muse
The isolation is necessary to let you find your voice, develop it, and honor your muse. This is how creativity begins. I don’t mean to imply that you must crawl into a hole and disappear. Frankly, creativity is always sparked by like creativity. While writing, I read extensively in genres similar to mine. I dove into thrillers of all flavors, mysteries, biographies, even non-fiction, paranormal, and romance.
I read for fun as well as my own education. While reading, I analyze how other authors create their settings. I derive information from non-fiction books and articles, even conversations and interviews with authorities on my subject. I’m curious to see how other writers accomplish their goals while entertaining their readers.
The Power of a Writer’s Community
I learned that developing a community of writer-friends was just as vital. It was important to converse with people who understood firsthand the process of becoming a better writer, and the challenges of writing. Through conferences and small writing groups, I developed a community of like-minded writers to laugh with, commiserate with, learn from, and support them as they supported me.
My writer’s community also bonded on a curiously common finding. Many of our friends, family, and co-workers outside of our writing circle were sometimes less than positive about the idea of writing a book. Go figure? I heard every negative argument in the book. You will never succeed. You will never get published. You will never make money.
But instead of taking their criticism to heart, I filed it in the category of “Your opinion…everyone has one” and forged on.
I’m pretty sure that every writer, visionary, inventor and revolutionary thinker has heard these arguments. I am just as sure that those visionaries also had the determination to continue pursuing their dreams. They (writers, inventors, tech geniuses) continued to push forward and follow their dreams and Muse. They had that passion and willingness to put in the hard work to create their dreams. I say ONWARD! And, it also helps to have the encouragement and support from some like minded dreamers and friends.
Find your community and tribe, and move forward!