As writers, we write alone. Even if we compose our words with people around us – such as at a coffee shop or the kitchen table – writing is a solitary effort. Often we must isolate ourselves for progress to occur; we say “no” to social activities in order to move our work forward or meet a deadline.
Our family and friends, as non-writers, often don’t understand this. With well-intentioned prodding, they urge us to emerge from our writing seclusion to embrace others and experience more of what life offers. And sometimes we must, but often, we must not.
What we need are comrades who understand, fellow writers who know the agony and the joy of creating art with our words. We need colleagues who can celebrate our successes and comprehend our discouragements.
We need other writers to walk along side us. We need wordsmiths who can guide us. And we need writers who we can help. We need opportunities to both give and to receive.
We need a writing community.
Too many aspiring writers struggle alone. When discouragement emerges, writer’s block hits, or self-discipline evaporates, they have no support team to fall back to. They abandon their vision, suppress their dream, and stop writing. If only they had someone to support them, someone to offer encouragement. If only they had a writing community.
Writing communities can happen in person or online. They can take on various forms and formats, with different goals and purposes. The important thing is to be in community with other writers.
Do you have a writing community? If not, what can you do to find or form one?
Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!