Monday 3 June 2024

Finding Your Community - The Creative Process


I spent the first ten years or so of my writing life without any real community. It wasn't that I didn't go looking, more that the internet was a lot younger (because I am old) and there weren't places like Twitter, or Tumblr, or Facebook etc. Social media wasn't a thing. Youtube wasn't a thing. We didn't have access to the writing community the way that we do now.

Even when those things became possible, I still didn't know where to start. I'd been published in 2005, I didn't know whether I would ever be published again and while KDP and such were coming, they hadn't arrived yet. Once they did, and I was able to publish, I didn't know where to look for said community. Writing had always been a solitary thing for me. I knew there were events like NaNo, but I never knew where or how to take part. I didn't know where to start with hashtags and finding people like me, so I mostly did it alone. It was isolating, it was hard, it made me wonder if I was even valid as a writer because while I had a book or two out, I did not have readers to the extent that I do now.

It was really only when I found Authortube and started my channel that I did seem to find those writers that I meshed with so well. I had writer friends, but they all felt like they had it all together, their books were award winning and I was just here writing young adult, and not really getting much traction because while those friends cheered me on to an extent, they weren't, and their contacts also weren't, anywhere near my target audience.

I don't tell you this to have a pity party, or to garner sympathy but to make it clear that when I say finding my community changed both my life, and the way I worked, it's very much the case. I'd been writing my books before then and it felt like I was shouting into the void, and never being heard. And then along came one person, who brought another, and another, and I started reaching out on Twitter and other places, and boom, I found my community and it was just a massive change in me because of that.

So when I say that finding your community can be a goldmine in helping you move forward with your writing, whether through trad pub, indie, hybrid, or just for yourself, then I mean it. Finding your community helps you grow as a writer. It helps broaden your horizons and it helps you start to have some confidence in what you're doing. Writing doesn't have to be an isolating thing. There doesn't have to be only you in a room and no one else to cheer you on. It can be so rewarding not just for you, but also for your community, when those wins are celebrated by all.

Finding your community takes time, and while I hope it takes all of you a lot less time than it did me, it's so worth it. While you won't mesh with every writer you meet, and while there may be blips along the road, you will come to find the people that work with you, and they are golden and allow you to feel accepted, connected, and like you're actually making that mark that you wish to on the world.

Writing friends, writing community, they are a big thing of making writing something that works for you. Social media allows for easier connection and that is very much a good thing in my book when it comes to the writing community. Good luck with finding yours!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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