James Clear said in his book, Atomic Habits, p. “One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. New habits seem achievable when you see others doing them every day.”
I agree, one of the most satisfying aspects of leading an online community is knowing so many people around the world are like me. They too want to find fame and fortune writing fiction. And like me, they are consumed with the demands of life. It’s extremely comforting to know that when I set my timer for 10 minutes, others are doing the same, and we’ll meet our goals on our own time.
Every success, every victory, every instance of #AuthorHappiness is just one tiny blip on this long writing journey. This journey is a lonely one, but the joys are magnified when it is shared.
Because I’m in a writing community, I can face those never-ending rejection letters. I can handle the 1-star reviews. I’ll find encouragement when doors close or opportunities dry up. This job is a hard one.
Within a group of writers, I have mentors and proteges, I have advice and warnings, I have celebrations and sorrows. I can squeeze others’ hands and say, “it is scary,” but you can do it. Or, “you are good, hang in there” or “this happened to me once!”
How can you find a writing community?
1. Get a Mentor.
In Online Writing Groups, such as Facebook’s 10 Minute Novelists, you can meet people who are little further ahead of you in your writing journey. Ask them questions. Get them to read your stuff. Receive their feedback graciously.
2. Join A Group.
By hanging around writers who have the same goals as you, you will learn a lot about craftsmanship, character development, plot, and setting. Also? Hanging out with other writers is just fun. They rejoice with you when you succeed and buy you drinks when you don’t.
3. Take a Class.
Check out your local library, community college or adult education center for writing classes. Some are even online! By working with an instructor, you will be able to get important feedback and grasp concepts you might not through just educating yourself. This link has a list of free and not-so-free writing courses!
4. Be humble and teachable.
No matter how much you’ve written or how many books you’ve sold, there’s always room to improve. And even if you were Pulitzer worthy, you’d still need to know about publishing, marketing, and social media. Be open to learning all you can. Arrogance doesn’t go far in this field.
How do you find other writers? There are tons of ways! But the easiest is to join my group 10 Minute Novelists on Facebook.
Clear continues: “Nothing sustains motivation better than belonging to a tribe. It transforms a personal quest into a shared one. . . .The shared identity begins to reinforce your personal identity. This is why remaining part of a group after achieving a goal is crucial to maintaining your habits. It’s friendship and community that embed a new identity and help behaviors last over the long run.”
I’m a 10 Minute Novelist. I have friends around me who are too. I couldn’t be there without them.