To all the friends I’ve made in this crazy journey, and to the rest I have yet to meet.
Writing is a community. These are the people who have your back, will hold your hand and cheer. They’re your sounding board. They understand the business and can offer sage advice.
The community comes in many forms, from a mutual respect from writer to writer, or industry individual to industry individual. To people you interact with on Twitter, in contests, or Facebook groups. Heck, you might even meet some in your real life. To critique partners and betas, the people who read your work, provide feedback, and nine times out of ten, are your friends.
When your book comes out, these people will be first in line. When you receive a rejection and need a shoulder, they’ll be there. Writing should be a competition, especially with all the contests out there. It’s not.
It’s a community.
Sure, we may feel that little pang of jealousy when someone achieves greatness. But we’ll still cheer and smile, then lick our wounds with someone else who understands. Our desire is not to dampen the day of the lucky individual. It’s more of a “why can’t I have that?”
The process is long, and we’re in it for the long haul, looking for careers. There will be ups and downs, good days and bad days. That’s why it’s so important to have these people at your side. Even if it’s just to have someone who understand that yes, characters do speak to you, and no, you are not crazy. Well…
Trend carefully within the community, you want these people on your side. Writing is hard. It’s emotionally exhilarating and draining. But for those of us who persevere, we do so because it’s inside of us. There is a need to write, to create, just as there is a need to breathe air. And the community gets it.