There are a couple of truly wonderful things about being a writer and part of the writing community.
I think these need to be said more often. New writers need to know these things, and established writers sometimes need reminding.
Writing is subjective
Writing is one of those things where there is no right or wrong, there is only what you want to write, the story you want to tell and what people want to read. If one person doesn’t like your book, so what? There’ll be ten people who will.
It also means that there are plenty of ways of doing things, because, as I say, there is no right or wrong. Writing truly is something that anyone can do, anyone can find success with if they’re lucky and everyone can enjoy.
This is also a little reminder to ignore people who try to put you in your place or tell you that you’re doing it wrong. I see quite a lot of that in Facebook groups.
There is no competition
No one reads just one book, or just one book a year. If they do, they probably aren’t your target audience unless you’re writing books about encouraging people to read.
This means that there should be no competitiveness between writers. On the contrary, we’re all in this together. Because a reader who buys their book will also buy yours, and vice versa.
This is my favourite thing about the writing community. There’s a real feeling of camaraderie, wherever you find your writing friends.
Okay, so not all places are friendly. Some people find writing groups hostile. I once had an interview at a famous bookshop and the interviewer’s face fell when I mentioned I’m a writer. Why? Because she’s a writer too (she told me). I never heard back from them. Thank God.
I don’t understand these people. Yes, writers get jealous of each other, but there are more than enough readers, publishing options and luck going around that we should all be supportive of each other.
Writers need each other. We’re a strange, misunderstood breed.
These two things are also part of the reasons I started Write into the Woods. I want WITW to be an inclusive place, where people feel comfortable and safe to learn about writing. And to discuss it.
Yup. I want WITW to become a community.
I’m working on that. In the meantime, you’ll have noticed I’ve started incorporating the work of other writers into the WITW website. First was the first A Leaf From My Book interview, and then WITW’s first guest post on how to get the most from working with your editor. If you’re interested in being interviewed about your book or work, or you want to write a guest post, check out how you can get involved.
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