An author friend once said that writing, at its core, is lonely. Our stories begin in our head and are only brought to fruition through BICHOK (butt-in-chair-hand-on-keyboard). We spend hours alone, breathing life into our creations in the hopes that someone, somewhere, will like them.
While I agree that the nature of putting pen to paper is solitary, the community of writing is surprisingly vast and supportive. The recent Twit-Pitch competition hosted by Shelley Watters is a prime example. Contestants were encouraged to spend two days critiquing one another before presenting their polished pitch for selection. Over 100 un-agented writers entered and even though only one could win the prize of a full manuscript request, everyone was eager to provide honest critiques to each other.
How often do you see kinship in competition?
This sense of community exists all across the writing world. Aspiring authors have countless forums and blogs to choose from, all of which are overflowing with free advice and information. Betas, writing partners, and support groups can be found throughout the Internet or (normally) within driving distance. The encouragement and motivation to keep plugging away is readily available for those that seek it.
In an age where the “me” mentality is splattered all over television and the Internet, communities like writing are a breath of fresh air. Maybe it’s because so many of us struggle up the publishing hill that we understand the hardships. Or maybe it’s because we spend so much time in solitude with our ideas that we thirst for communion when and where we can find it.
No matter the reason, it’s nice to know that we aren’t alone in this venture.