Why your ego needs an author community (#IWSG Blog Hop)

Why your ego needs an author community

DISCLAIMER: The characters in this post may or may not be based on real people, and even if they are, events described herein are probably just approximations of what really happened anyway.

THE POST: Family and friends are great, but they don’t understand author milestones, nor do they understand what it takes to achieve them. And when we fall, they don’t have the first clue about how to help us up. They may start to come around, but it can take years. This is why, authors, we need to stock our author communities. Because when it comes to being an author, family and friends a cheerleading section do not make.

Take for example…

(Let’s call her…) JOSIE: I finished my book!

JOSIE’S DAD: That’s good.

JOSIE: It’s, like, a big deal.

JOSIE’S DAD: Congratulations.

JOSIE: Bigger than that.

(Later, hypothetically of course, Josie tweets the news.)

30-40 RANDOM AUTHORS: That’s so awesome! … Congratulations! … (GIF of two ponies high-fiving)

Example B:

JOSIE: I got a literary agent!

JOSIE’S SISTER: That’s nice.

JOSIE: (smile fading) It’s, like, really hard to do.

JOSIE’S MOM: We’d like to take you out for your birthday next week.

JOSIE (in a half-joking tone): Don’t you people listen? I don’t celebrate birthdays anymore. If you want to take me out for dinner, it can be to celebrate the fact that I GOT A LITERARY AGENT!

(Two days later, Josie runs into author friend Sam at karaoke bar.)

JOSIE: I’m glad I ran into you. I have some news. I got a literary agent!

SAM: (jumps up and down in full range of the microphone) Oh my God! I’m so jealous.

Example C:

(Josie calling her mom)

JOSIE: My (blubber) literary agent (blubber) quit (Kleenex nose honk).

JOSIE’S MOM: Okay, calm down.

(Josie emailing trusted critique partners Nicole and Maria)

JOSIE: So, my agent quit agenting, and I’m really upset. Also, super embarrassed, because it was announced all over social media that I signed with her.

NICOLE: That’s so terrible. We should Skype today. When are you free?

SAM: Not cool. Send me your contract ASAP.

Example D:

(Josie out for coffee with non-author friend Carla)

JOSIE: My book got longlisted for two book awards.

CARLA: What’s (face screwing up) longlisted?

(After five minutes of explaining to Carla how it really is an honor just to be freaking nominated…)

CARLA: Oh, congratulations.

(Josie WhatsApp-ing with critique partner Maria)

MARIA: Congratulations! You can totally add this to your query letters. When can you announce that you made the longlists? When do the shortlists come out?

Why your ego needs an author communityI compiled this post for the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. To continue hopping through more amazing blogs, or to join the hop, click here. (There are more than 200 of us, and it’s fun!)

Where do you seek refuge when you’re on a particularly low rung of your author journey? Chat with me in the comments.

Thank you to Freepik for this image that I used in my post. And thanks for this image too.

70 thoughts on “Why your ego needs an author community (#IWSG Blog Hop)

  1. Ain’t that the truth. And not just about writing, but any passion that aren’t shared.
    Thank goodness for the internet if you don’t have any writerly people in your real life world. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. ‘May or may not be’ – ‘Probably’ – Love it!

    This was great and so true. It took me a while to reach out. Once I joined a writer’s group I realized I wasn’t alone. From there I went on-line and found some amazing people. I have an hour of quiet time every morning. I visit writer’s blogs and form a connection. Just like I’m forming with you. It’s the perfect way to start my day.

    We spend so much time alone we have to remind ourselves that it is not a healthy way to live. We need to share our disappointments, our good news or our current work. Whatever it is we need to involve others.

    Thank you for this. Well done!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! I was just saying to someone else in this hop that I don’t reach out enough, and I should really do that more. I mean, I connect with other writers all the time, but when I’m having a bad day, I’m not telling them, and if I did, I’d probably feel a lot better.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ChemistKen: Okay, I’m almost finished with my story. I’m working on the last chapter. (Holds arms up in victory stance)

    Daughter: (Laughs) Dad, you’ve been working on that story since I was in middle school.

    ChemistKen: Well, okay. But now I’m almost done.

    Daughter: You said that last year too. (Leaves room)

    Liked by 5 people

  4. “What have you go to show for yourself, sitting in bed every night writing God knows what on that iPad?”

    “I have four almost in the can. One is a victim of perfection disorder, one is a three way collab with a missing in action author, one is waiting on me to figure out the multi-faceted double triple quadruple cross and one needs a big shootout/relationship blowup/closure on part one and a set up for the next part…”

    “Maybe you finish something. Like fixing the pavestones. What is this charge for Grammarly? I thought you said it didn’t work in whatever that software is you use.”

    It doesn’t, but I paste it into Word for line by line –”

    “Then let Word argue with you about things you won’t fix anyway.”

    And then there’s the “editor” discussions. In the music biz someone once said looking for managers was like looking for snakes. Amen. And managers only want points, not $2k+ up front to run their formula on your work or ask you, like a new age therapist “Well, how do feeeeeeel about these two people? Who are they to you, reeeeeeeally and where is their motivation to BE these people? Should they say that to each other? Are they gay or simply empathetic? There’s no sex in this. Where’s the sex? The heat? Too much dialogue makes it move too fast…”

    Shoot me now.

    FYI per our discussion on my blog you owe us a scene stealing shapter turned short story.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Along with all the other writer’s today, I’m sending you virtual hugs. Oh we’ve all been there! I had a book signing last year for an anthology and half of my extended family didn’t comment at all. The other half asked, “How was the book thing? Oh that’s nice.” I was upset at first but now I find it funny. It’s also much more obvious how much people don’t get it/care when you write horror. I think some of my family pretend I’m not speaking when I mention that I write :D.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree with everyone here, Raimey. Very well said. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of IWSG and community. As a writer, I am so very needy. Enjoy your week!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m sorry to be contrary, because I do agree with the basic point of this post, that writers need a support group who understand what they are going through. But it seems to me that she could make more of an effort to meet her friends and family halfway. For example, she doesn’t celebrate birthdays anymore. And then she’s mad at her family and yelling at them because they want to take her out to dinner. This is supposed to be a problem with the family, rather than with her attitude? Really? Birthdays are something that everyone has in common and it wouldn’t hurt her to both celebrate her birthday and talk about the writer stuff at the dinner. Does she take an interest in their passions? That might even give her some good material to write about.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Sorry, I didn’t know it was you. Families can be tough. My family has historically not been interested in most of the things I’m interested in–not music, not writing. There were hurt feelings on both sides. But when I started trying to meet them halfway, our relationship improved and I’ve come to appreciate their support. A couple of years ago they even gave me a visit to a writing retreat as a gift.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so amazing about the writing retreat gift. My family tries to be supportive, and they are, but there’s still that je-ne-c’est-quoi that our communications lack, but that I get from my writing community.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Totally get this problem. How did I solve it? I married an author! Seeing her climb each wrung of her writing career is a constant reminder that it can be done.

    Liked by 2 people

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