One of the things I love about being a writer is that I’m also always a student. There are always new things to learn, ways to stretch and grow as a writer, ways to hone your craft.
In the past two months I’ve learned that community is very important to me when I’m trying to write. It’s interesting, since writing was originally something I did when I wanted to be left alone. It was an escape for me, a place where I could create the rules and adventures. Now, though, I find it easier to write when I know that there are others out there also writing. I now have a semi-regular writing date after work one day a week, and even when I am not really in the mindset to write I find that I do. Because the other person there is writing, and that is the whole point of that time. So if I don’t write then… then when will I?
I also have discovered that the online community can work well to help drive me. I’ve become a big fan of #wordsprints on twitter. I started to use it this past November for National Novel Writing Month — but then stumbled on them again in April and found it very helpful. Even if I wasn’t rushing to beat a word-count, but rather undertaking the slow, and sometimes painstaking, process of editing. Knowing that there were others trying to do the same thing, others plodding away at their Works-in-Progress, at the same time, was very reassuring.
I find other writers through various online groups, wandering around blogs, and conversations on twitter. I have a handful of writing friends that I get to see in person as well. All these different types of community and opportunities for commiseration is so helpful. It reminds me that I am not alone in the struggles of being a writer, nor am I alone when it comes time to celebrate victories. Sometimes I still need to write alone, to be isolated with the worlds I’m working on, but it is really nice to know that there are others out there going through the same thing.