This wasn’t the blog post I was going to do, but the other post is still in production and this piqued my interest. I was scrolling through Twitter and came across this tweet, and it made me think.
“I feel so lucky to be writing at a time where there’s the Twitter #writingcommunity for support. This process would be so much lonelier & so much more discouraging without it.”
My first response is one of puzzlement. Wouldn’t we all write anyway? There will always be the attention seekers who wilt if there isn’t a steady supply of praise and encouragement, but I like to think those are a small minority among the author population.
Most of us write because it feels good, because we have things we want to talk about. We have stories that need to be told bubbling up from the depths of our souls, screaming to be heard and clawing their way toward the light of day. The availability of an immediate audience or the presence of fellow authors doesn’t change that.
I wrote for many years before I knew the Writing Community existed. I didn’t know if anyone would ever read what I was writing, but I hoped that one day I would be able to get my work in front of people who’d enjoy it. Eventually, when I was actually getting into the business of indie publishing, I started joining author groups on Facebook and diving into Twitter.
Facebook author groups are a mixed bag. I’ve discovered some, like the SciFi Roundtable, that are useful, informative, supportive, and a good place to find both new books to read and new readers. Others are little more than a wall of promo posts. Many are filled writers begging people to name their character/world/place/book for them, or seeking validation for the beta version of their first draft. Trolls and the blatantly-unqualified-to-give-advice abound.
Still, I found some great groups and made a lot of awesome friends thanks to the Facebook Writing Community. It’s a place I’m glad I discovered.
The Twitter Writing Community is a whole different animal. While there are trolls and people who do little but spam book promos, on the whole the community is a fascinating place. People share artwork, music, and snippets of fiction and poetry. It’s a great place to connect with like-minded authors and share the joys and tribulations of writing.
Both writing communities can be fun to interact with, a place to find new favorite authors and gain new fans. They make indie publishing far more accessible, and make alternate avenues like Patreon possible.
I would still write if there was no Writing Community, and I don’t feel that I’d be much lonelier or worse off without it– but I’m something of a loner. Undoubtedly the indie publishing industry would be vastly different without social media and the communities that have formed around it. My own approach to writing and publishing would probably be quite different.
How about you? How large or small of an affect has the Writing Community had on you as an author? Would you be doing what you’re doing even if it weren’t there? Let me know what you think!