“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard

Writing is hard.

There I said it.  I said what we all think at 1:00 in the morning when we are staring at the same blank document that has been mocking us for three hours, still feeling completely uninspired.  I said what we all think when we need to Google synonyms for words because you simply CAN NOT use that word again.  I said what we all think when we read through our work and realize we said ‘but’ instead of ‘put’ in a piece we’ve already shown to someone and of COURSE spellcheck didn’t catch it because we spelled ‘but’ correctly.

Despite what various articles, blogs, and vlogs will tell you, there is no sure fire way to deal with writerly problems.  And I’m not going to pull back the curtain and reveal the one thing all the folks that came before me have missed.  I don’t have all the answers and I don’t have a solution.

But I have a suggestion.  It’s simple and it’s basic and even though it may not enable you to finish the manuscript you spend every night cursing, it’s probably the most important thing I’ve learned on this journey.

Get yourself a group.  A tribe.  A clan.  A collection of writing friends you can reach out to in the middle of a existential crisis or after discovering a plot hole the size of the Grand Canyon or simply someone you can share a cup of coffee with (even if it’s a virtual one) and complain about characters that misbehave.

Yeah, I hear what you’re saying.  You’re an introvert (as most writers are, me included) and don’t really ‘do’ people.  Your writing is personal the very thought of discussing it gives you a panic attack.

But you need a person.  Or peoples.  Folks that can see where your story is going when you feel lost.  People that remind you of your awesome.  People that can show you why that stupid sentence just isn’t working.

So get thee to social media!  Discover one of the amazing writing groups that has been birthed online.  Find that person, the one who may not even write the same genre as you, but the one who you click with.  Don’t be afraid to share the ugly and the raw and the typos.  Don’t be afraid to be transparent.  We are all on this journey together and we can only make it, sanely, to our destination with a little support, encouragement, and good chocolate.

If you don’t know where to start… come find me!  I may be crazy, I may fall in love with fictional characters, and I may very well talk about my stories as though they are real, but I can promise to be an ear and a shoulder.

Because writing is hard.

 

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