Writing may be a solitary pilgrimage. But the life of a writer most certainly need not be. Being a part of writer communities, offline and online can have a tremendous effect on one’s motivation levels.
Here is how being a part of the writer fraternity can power your writing.
Research and Learning
I write historical fiction. Very ancient historical fiction or Puranic fiction to be precise. My passion of reading source literature aside, there arise a hundred questions in my mind when I sit to reimagine an ancient event; questions like whether a particular technology existed during those times, whether this event could be placed in a specific time period, whether the characters had such and such leanings, whether the philosophy signalled makes sense and so on. Resolving these questions while saving myself from the proverbial research holes (where I start searching for a particular story of Adi Shankaracharya and four hours later, find myself reading about the French revolution with no memory of how my thought train travelled in such a bizzare direction!), requires the company of learned and well read people whose knowledge specialises in the said areas. I have a group of go-to people when I find myself unable to cross every third sentence and they are my saviours.
Writing is an emotional journey. The intensity of this roller coaster only increases if one is writing a full length novel that encompasses the growth, trials, tribulations, victories, intrigues and odysseys of protagonists. Add to it, the emotional toll resulting from business questions like launch plan, cover design, pricing, reviews, etc! There are many moments where we ask ourselves – Why do we do this to ourselves? But we know that we can’t be without that journey! Who can understand this pain better than another writer? The emotional support that we gain from consoling, cheering, listening, ranting and sharing just can’t be replaced! You have to be a part of such a support group to actually experience the advantages.
Cumulative Social presence
If you have journeyed for a while as an author/writer, you would know the importance of an author platform, the reach you have when you stick out your neck and shout out about your book/blog/content. Imagine if 10 author friends shared the information about it to their respecting platforms! As a writer who gained loyal readers because of this cumulative promotion, I can’t recommend this enough. Just that it works only when you give as much as you take.
As I said, writing is a solitary journey, but making a career in writing is most definitely not. Introversion is a luxury we can’t afford if we dream of paying our bills from our writing income. We need shout outs, we need reviews and recommendations, we need introductions to agents, publishers and publicists, we need connections to other freelancers. In other words, we can never say who in this huge world we might need when. Being a part of author fraternities can make friends out of complete strangers, it can enhance your identity, your profile and add that zing to your very introduction. Fraternities survive by pulling each other through the next hurdle, helping each other break the ceilings, because there is nothing called as competition in the writing world. There is only Co-opetition! (As Joanna Penn says!)
Have you been a part of such author communities? Do share your experiences in the comments!
Also, please don’t forget to check out other posts in the C series by the awesome writers I listed at the beginning!