Hello there my lovelies! It’s Sunday which means I’m back! Sorry about being MIA last week. Not to make excuses, but August was a heck of a month!
This week, I’m planning to continue my series on How to Become a Successful Indie Author. And in true RRR fashion, I’m skipping around. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about make sure you go back and read the 7-30-23 post My Two Cents on Becoming a Successful Indie Author. I covered the first (or rather last) step My Two Cents on Writing Experts in my last post. And today, I’m covering step two—My Two Cents on Finding Your Community.
I chose to cover this because, for the next couple weeks posts will come from members of my community. I’ll talk a bit more about that later, but first, let’s talk about the writing community.
The book world is a strange and awesome place. If you’re a writer (which I know a lot of you are), we are a tight-knit, but also huge group. Strangely (or maybe not), when you write, you’re automatically inclined to know or seek out other writers. And even though most of us are working toward the same goal, and it seems like we might be rivals, it’s really not like that. In fact, most of us are really supportive of each other, and most of us are excited to help each other get there.
I’ll give you an example. I have a writing friend I met through social media. We beta read each other’s drafts, and jumped into the query trenches at about the same time. She lives on the other side of the country, and I’ve never actually met her, but I consider her a good friend, and I am totally invested in her success. And this past week she got signed by an agent!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉
Now, while in all honesty I feel a smidge sad it wasn’t me—and side note, we’ve talked a number of times about feeling that way when our other writing friends got signed, so I don’t feel bad saying it, because she’s probably already aware. But I feel more excited that she is succeeding! I have been on the journey with her. I love her book and her characters, and I’m invested in seeing readers love them as much as I am for my own book. So I’m so incredibly proud that they are going to make their way into the world.
The point of this rant is that If you know who this person is, you can see how important building a community is. She posted this week about getting her agent, and she thanked DOZENS of writing friends. She got help from the earliest of readers who suggested she add more romance. She got help from her next readers who helped develop her characters. She got help from people who told her to lean into the comedic voice that she already naturally had but didn’t fully embrace until someone told her it was GOLD. She got chosen in a mentorship program, she paid editors, she’s done dozens of drafts and each one developed the story more and more. The point is, she probably couldn’t have gotten there alone. She needed every one of those people to point out the things she wouldn’t have been able to see herself. And without her community, I’m sure she’d agree she wouldn’t have gotten signed.
I have a writing community comprised of editors, other writers, readers, family, and friends. And each person is necessary in the process. Some of them are there to be my cheerleaders and convince me that even though it sometimes seems hopeless, it’s not. Some of them are there to give me a dose of reality and tell me when things are unnecessary or confusing. Some of them are there to add insight and tell me when things work and when they don’t. And some (one in particular, and she knows who she is) I can always count on to tell me when something just isn’t that good. I rely on these people to help me improve. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t be close to any type of publication. I wouldn’t have the courage to publish a blog or be getting ready to self-publish. I would still be writing stories that nobody read.
And to each of those people, I’m grateful. You’re a necessary part of my process and I couldn’t do it without you, so thank you!
Ok, enough of the mushiness. You get the point, you need a community. And along those lines, this month I’m hosting TWO of the people in my community.
The first is an author you’ve seen here before. Lashun Williams will be giving us a thoughtful piece about Writer’s Block, and the difference between that and a Writer’s Downfall. It’s helpful for those of us who have experienced the pull to quit writing. It helps put a fine point on why you feel the need to quit, and what to do about it when you do.
The next author is new to the Two Cents blog. Author Kathryn Kincaid is another writing friend I met through social media. I’ve never met her IRL, but just like my other friend, I was an early reader of her book, and I fell in love with her characters and I became invested in their success. Unlike my previously mentioned friend, Kathryn knew almost immediately she was going to self-publish. And her post will cover how her book Play Your Part has reached its success—which in its first few months, reached the Amazon top 100 list! She used me as a resource in some aspects of her publishing process, but I’ve equally used her as a resource since I’ve started working toward self-publishing.
I hope you’re excited about my friends posts, because they are going to be so helpful.
I also hope I’ve conveyed how important building a community is. The last thing I’ll say is, that if you don’t have a community, you should start looking for one. I found mine almost exclusively through social media writing groups. I’ve met a few of them through Twitter pitch fests. I have a few friends who used writing hashtags that led them to be in my feed. And some of them are paid editors who I just clicked with and have become members of my tribe. The point is, it doesn’t matter how you meet them, but you should meet them. Don’t be afraid to be a bit weird by DM-ING someone you think could help you and saying, “Hey, I love the premise of the book you’re promoting, wanna be writing friends?” Because that person might end up being an invaluable resource. That’s what happened to me!
So, that’s it, folks! That’s My Two Cents in Building Your Community. You need writing friends. So make them. Help them improve and use them to help you get where you’re going because we’re all in this together!
Happy Sunday my loves! Have a good week!
-Rose Rayne Rivers
P.S. Do you have a member of your writing community you couldn't do without? Refer them to my blog! Let's grow together!
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