The Vital Importance of Your Writing Community

From Writers in the Storm:

These last few weeks have been one of the most trying times of my life. Covid-19 has been this constant cloud that hovers over the most inane tasks of ordinary life. Heaped on top of this is the political divide happening in America and the ongoing fight for freedom and rights. Though these issues have weighed heavy on my heart the last few months, nothing has been as crushing as these last two weeks.

First, my twenty-two-year-old daughter became very ill. She had been living on her own and preparing to go back to school this fall. Since her illness began, she has been in the hospital five times and moved back home.

. . . .

Many people have had it much worse than us but my purpose in sharing this story is to illuminate the one thing that got me through with my sanity and soul intact: my writing community.

My Writing Community Is a Godsend

I needed help, and they responded. And I am so grateful. I was scheduled earlier this month to post a blog, and with a text, my good friend Jenny switched with me. I have had writer friends call me, write to me, send me letters, and Zoom with me. They shared the burden of my work and lent an ear when I needed it.

Creating a writing community around you helps you in so many ways because we are all in this together.

Our work is done inside our heads. Writing the words down is a consequence of the worlds we build in our dreams. Writers’ greatest accomplishments happen in total isolation. Because of this, we want…no…we need connections with others just like us.

Sure, I have a loving family and non-writer friends, and they often nod and do their best to support me. But they don’t always ‘get’ me. A writer understands the emotional angst of another writer.

In the middle of the night, I can send out a sentence I’m stuck on to a writer pal, and within minutes I receive a response. My own biological family doesn’t even do that!

Tips for Building a Writing Community

1. You offer yourself first. You ask what you can do for other writers you meet. They may not take your offer right away, but they will remember your generosity. One day, you will get an email, humble in its construction, asking for the help you offered months and even years prior.

2. You become active in the writing community. You show up and pay forward the help others have given you, whether it is writing on a blog like WITS or offering to look over someone’s opening lines. Being part of a writing community is about service and what you offer to others.

Link to the rest at Writers in the Storm