Writing can be a lonely profession. It's not as if we write in groups, chatting the entire time about our next scene amongst each other between the cubical walls. No, writing is a solitary job, one where we spend many hours (consecutively mind you) alone - writing. And when we are not writing, you can bet we are reading. It can be an isolating path to walk, especially when you do it in the dark.
So, come out into the light and find your writer community. This is so incredibly important. I was the "closet writer" as one agent told me, right before she encouraged me to start talking openly about being a writer. See, even if you aren't published yet, you are still a writer and there are others out there!
How can I find my writer community?
Finding a writing community can be easy in larger cities, however, in a small town, such as Pensacola, it was slightly harder. It took time for me to find the local writing group Emerald Coast Writers. In fact, I only learned about them after attending a job fair at the local college.
One of the first things you can do to locate a writing group near you is to contact your local library and inquire if they host a group or know of a group locally. You can also reach out to bookstores in your area as well. If you find yourself unable to establish an in-person writing group, join an online writing community. There are many really great, established communities out there, such as #writingcommunity on Twitter and Critique Circle.
Why is it important to join a writing community?
At some point, you are going to have to let someone else read your writing. It is truly the only way to learn if you have something worth publishing. And you don't just need your friends reading your book, but you need other writers reading your book. They are the best critique partners!
Also, you can receive references and referrals for services once you are ready to move forward with professional editing, book design, and other services. You can get feedback from other writers on how to reach out to publishers or agents. Along with which publishers and/or agents they would recommend using.
If you are lucky you can meet a seasoned author! Having another seasoned writer/author mentor you through the querying and/or publication process can be invaluable. Trying to navigate this can be overwhelming - trust me!
So, step out of your comfort zone if you haven't already and find your writing tribe! Whether it be in person or through a social community, you will find the support life-changing!