I want to go on record as saying that I have nothing to add to K.A. Doore’s perfect post yesterday. 🙂
Being part of a literary community is the best thing I writer could wish for. Writing itself is a solitary and lonely, and often isolating, endeavor. But if we’re really lucky writers, we learn some craft techniques and make friends along the way. Then you have people in your corner who love talking about stories and books and craft and poetry as much as you do. These are the people in your corner whose successes you celebrate, and who celebrate you. Writing colleagues. I’m a bit of a workshop junkie, have had the enormous privilege of meeting new people – and I’m grateful for my writer friends and acquaintances. In this digital age, being part of the literary community means networking on one or more of the big social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It means building a platform, to help yourself and to help your literary community.
I’ve moved to the other side of the country, far from where I grew up and where my children were born and first raised. So, I had to learn about social media and become an expert in order to stay in touch with familiar faces. I’m a writer, which means I’m an avid reader. I’m a writer so my selfish desire is for everyone to be as geeked out about books as I am. Not just of my book(s) but of my writing colleagues and friends who have been working their tails off, who have great stories to tell, who deserve the recognition for their efforts, who contribute toward the idea that #WeNeedDiverseBooks. I recently read that the publishing industry is still 86 percent white. We need books that reflect our diverse and rich culture. Social media has its enormous pitfalls but I still think it can be used for good. I’m so grateful to Counterpoint Press and Little, Brown UK and Hachette India for taking on The Atlas of Reds and Blues. I am so grateful to my communities for supporting me and cheering on my debut novel. A big thank for the shout-outs: Associated Press, AJC, Cosmopolitan UK, Marie Claire, Nylon, Electric Literature, Prose and Palate, Geek Sprinkles, The Millions, Hello Giggles, SheReads (Kate Olson), Big Other. Mahalo.