I started this blog last November partly as an accountability check for my writing. I had begun drafting my second novel and was having trouble finding the motivation to work on it regularly; finding it difficult to sit down in front of my computer each day. My rule was that if I didn’t get to my #WIP, I could at least make a short blog post in an effort to keep my creativity flowing.
Suffice to say, the blog idea didn’t really pan out. By the beginning of February, I was lucky if I sat down to write once in a two-week period. Not the best way to get a manuscript drafted!
One day, February 10th to be exact, I stumbled upon a Twitter post about the #WritingCommunity. I’ve had a Twitter account for many years, but I rarely checked it, and was only signed in to my business Twitter page on my phone. I don’t know why I decided to sign in on February 10, but I’m so glad I did.
I decided to follow some writers. Not necessarily famous, or even published writers, although there were some of those, but mainly writers who were actively posting in the Twitter-writer-verse. Feeling bold, I made a post introducing myself to the community and even tweeted my first blog entry asking for some feedback.
The response I got was astounding. I went from 15 to 1500 followers in about 2 weeks. Tips, commiseration, jokes, and networking opportunities started flooding my notifications, to the point where sometimes I found it hard to keep up. Social media rapidly became a useful tool rather than a forum for gratuitous self-obsession (not mine of course… O.O).
One of the tips I received was to “find your people”. I’d looked for writing groups in my area before and been hesitant. It seemed risky to join a group – what if I ended up hating the people? It’s not a secret that #somepeoplearetheworst. JK. #mostpeoplearetheworst.
But on the interwebs, there are no geographical limitations, and it’s possible to vet potential critique partners or beta readers easily and from the comfort of your introverted home. And, I love the people I’ve met.
Finding your people means finding people that understand the trials, tribulations, and victories that come with being a writer. They’re not your family and best friends who will love your writing because they love you; they’re your colleagues: playing devil’s advocate and brainstorming better ways to murder your characters. They’re the ones who trust you to do the same, giving you the gift of improved editing and analytical skills.
Since finding my people, I’ve been able to get in front of my laptop every single day since February 10. I’ve added 27,000 words to my #WIP in 4 weeks, and I’ve critiqued 3 of my peers’ manuscripts. I’ve also joined Overhaul My Novel as a volunteer Beta Reader.
Writing is not an individual sport, even if it seems like it is. If you’re looking for motivation to write or accountability for completing a project, you don’t need to rely only on yourself. Join a writing group, get online and introduce yourself, find what works for you, but whatever you do, find your people.