When I started writing my first book–my “practice” book–I had no idea what I was doing. I told when I should have showed. I had no writing schedule, and as a result it took me six years to finish the book. There was no outline to follow, and I only thought about tension as it related to the bike in my spinning class. My characters were at times clichéd in their emotional reactions, and my dialogue tags included *gasp* adverbs.
But most of all, I had no community of fellow writers to lean on and learn from – I was writing solo.
Fast forward nearly a decade and things have changed. I’ve written 3.5 books, the last 2.5 in the past two years. Along with speeding up my writing (thanks to outlines, Scrivener, and daily writing goals), I understand the HOW to write a book that can end up on a shelf – and my first shelf-worthy one makes its debut May 26, 2015.
There has been much discussion about writers being solitary creatures, introverts who prefer the company of a laptop’s glow or a pet to people. We are lonely and tortured, which is how we find our muses…or something like that. But not all of us are introverts, and some of us prefer writing in a crowded, public place to the pin-drop silence of a home office. And what I’d guess is true for (nearly) all of us, is that having a community of support only makes the writing easier, and better.
As Amy mentioned yesterday, the internet has changed things for us writers–not only can we Google things like, “how to perform open heart surgery” and get step-by-step instructions, we can find a plethora of writers going through exactly what we are–from how to create a writing schedule, to how to query, to how to survive being on submission, to how to promote your book, the internet provides it all. Just a few keywords and some time–any time of day, from anywhere.
Because this is a job you can do at home (in your pjs and slippers), my writing community has been mostly online. Sure, I have met a few other writers offline, and some have become critique partners and IRL cheerleaders. Otherwise it’s been all about my #5amwritersclub crew — a highly caffeinated and perpetually overtired bunch who gather on Twitter Monday to Friday for writing sprints, support, and to cheer each other on–and other writers I’ve met via social media.
While Twitter has probably been the greatest source of writer camaraderie I’ve found, my critique partners, my agent, and my editor round out my community–as do my husband and daughter, who have had to listen to plot twists (yes, even my 6 year old has been subjected to my, “So, what if THIS happens…” rants) along with some bellyaching here and there. Couldn’t do it without them!
Latest posts by Karma Brown (see all)
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- The New Debs: Please Welcome the Class of 2016! - Saturday, September 5, 2015
- It’s Not Really Goodbye … more, “See you later!” - Wednesday, September 2, 2015
- News Flash: BIG (secret) news, Celebrity Sighting, & a Giveaway! - Sunday, August 30, 2015
- Launch week: Karma Brown Takes Deb Ball Interview + a Giveaway! - Saturday, August 29, 2015