Writing is a lonely task. We spend hours daydreaming, getting to know our characters' quirks, enduring their trials moment by moment, and finally recording it all in words on the page. It's easy not to let others into our world, to invade those precious moments we get to spend with our characters and their stories.
Many writers love the solitude. That's why they are writers. But here's a secret. Writing -- well, good writing -- does not happen in a vacuum. It's a team effort. Take a moment to pick up your favorite book from your bookshelf or library. Flip to the back few pages. Usually somewhere at the end of a story and author will take the time to thank the people who made that book possible. Read it. Take note of how many different people were involved. Do you still think writing is a solitary task?
Yes, writers do need to make time to be alone to get to know their characters and write their stories, but other people are critical to the writing process.
Conferences and Writing Classes. Writers are always learning more about the writing process and how to improve their own writing. Writing conferences can be found in every state and around the world, even on cruise ships. Community colleges and universities also may offer writing classes under professional development courses. These are also a great place to meet other writers and form a community of support.
Writing Groups. Writers often get together in groups for many reasons. Some get together just to write together at the same time in the same place. Group retreats can be popular to help writers get away to work on their stories. Some groups offer support and writing instruction for writers who are still learning the process. More advanced groups get together and critique each other's work. Not only do these groups help writers improve their writing, members often hold each other accountable to get writing done during the month.
Beta Readers. When writers finish a project, they often ask people who love to read preview their work and catch anything that doesn't make sense.
Editors and Publishers. Of course, when a project is ready to be published, there is a whole team of editors, marketers, designers, and promoters who will work together to get that book published and on bookshelves.
Don't write alone. Let others into your process and help you grow to become a better writer. We all need others to succeed. Writing is no exception.
WRITING PROMPT: Take a break from writing and find a way to connect with other writers in your community. Even if you just find one writer, meet them for lunch to talk about your projects. Swap manuscripts. Give each other feedback. Often, hearing others' responses during the writing of your project improves your writing and technique.
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