On Community

Below are quick links to my blog posts for authors on finding community:

Ableism in the writing community: The last two and a half years of my life have been a kind of painful hell. It took some doing, but I’m currently being worked up for a chronic Lyme diagnosis, and I’m finally getting treatment as a result, but my path out of pain is non-linear and uncertain. Now you have context for why I wrote this non-exhaustive list of writing advice that has a ring of ableism to it.

How people are democratizing the publishing industry: There are people out there doing the hard thing in order to democratize the publishing industry. They’re risking their jobs, their income, their industry relationships, their mental health, and even their lives, all to make publishing more accessible, transparent, and accountable. Here are a few examples of people who did the hard thing and effected change in publishing as a result.

How white people uphold systemic racism in publishing: White people uphold systemic racism in publishing by not doing the right thing sometimes when it means doing the right thing will benefit people of color and especially BIPOC (Black and Indigenous people of color) in publishing more than it will benefit white people. Upholding systemic racism happens with both actions and inactions. The latter is what we’re focusing on here, which is to say, doing nothing. The only thing necessary for systemic racism in publishing to triumph, is for authors and other publishing professionals to do nothing.

The 2 kinds of diversity advocates in publishing: You might have noticed that a 9,000-member literary organization has been in the news since it wrongfully censured author Courtney Milan on December 23, 2019. I’m a member of that organization and a white woman, and I am still watching as other members who are also white women, over and over again, refuse to believe women of color. This is the lesson I learned from them.

Action plan for making Publishing representative: Romance author Melanie Greene workshops her ideas for how authors can help make Publishing diverse, inclusive, accessible, and equitable.

9 factors to consider when trialing critique partners: When on the lookout for critique partners, a genre match is important and you should have at least one, but it isn’t always the most important factor. Take a look at these nine criteria, and the next time you’re scouting for a CP, you may want to consider placing additional emphasis on the eight that come after genre.

Why your ego needs an author community: 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 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.

Pro Litsy tips from fellow bookworms: Litsy is a wonderful new-ish social media platform all about books: reviews, reading challenges and games, giveaways, etc. I recommend it to readers, but I especially recommend it to authors, because it’s high-interaction and relatively easy to gain a following.

My list of blog hops for authors: The benefits of blog hops are many. Sometimes called link-up parties, hops are a great way to meet other writers/bloggers and build your author community; gain traffic and engagement on your site; and I’ve even seen them used as a tool in virtual book tours.

Author Toolbox Blog Hop: The #AuthorToolboxBlogHop is a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.

2017 list of Twitter chats for writers (latest new chat added Sep 2018): Here’s my list of 31 active Twitter chats. Search the list for ones you might be interested in checking out, add a reminder to your calendar, and join in the discussions.