I've learned that community as a writer is such a valuable asset, as well as a necessity, in my opinion, to truly grow as a writer.
Being a part of the magnificent group of women at The Writer's Alley, is my greatest evidence of these things, and I want to encourage you to sew yourself into a community of writers, even if it's online.
Three musts to becoming part of a community fabric are:
Frequency: It would be easy for me to only contact the AlleyCats to tell them about my next post for the Weekend edition...but all ten of us have allowed our inboxes to fill up, really, REALLY fill up, with conversations back and forth, prayer requests, suggestions, questions, or even sillyness that always ends with a reference to chocolate in some form or fashion! You see, it's hard to consider yourself a part of something, if you are rarely making yourself present.
Transparency: Through all that frequency, it's hard to remain closed-off, unknown, masked. Your personality does come out...this is a good thing!! It makes you real and relateable. I have met some wonderful writers through blogland. And some of my most treasured friendships are with bloggers who don't just review books, but write about the personal life...motherhood, weight loss, what's going on besides the writing. Transparency is essential to knit yourself closely with your community.
Encouragement: It's easy to think of this business as “each man for himself” and a cutthroat kind of industry where your chances are slim, so why give anyone else an inch? Truly though, trust is key to community, and if you want to find a support group, a community of writers to journey with you, encouragement is essential too. And it is so nice to receive that encouragement also!
You may be saying...”What's the point, Angie? Sure, it's nice to have community, but is it really necessary?”
YES! I think it is. I have LEARNED so much from being in community. And I will give some examples:
P-R-A-Y-E-R …. To pray within your community, to know that others are praying for you in the midst of this journey, is powerful. Period.
A Sense of Self: Yep, it's true, you learn so much about yourself through the eyes of others, and community is a safe place to find this personal enrichment.
My biggest credits to this school of thought, are the AlleyCats and our followers. We have such great discussion in our comments section, as well as via email. As you can see, we are only one follower away from the big 5-0-0!!!! Woohoo...there's a party coming to the Alley! I hope you enjoy this community as much as I do!
Please consider this opportunity to nominate The Writer's Alley!!
Each year, Writers Digest releases a list of the 101 Best Websites for Writers. They come up with this list through a nomination and review process. And that's where you come in...
If The Writer's Alley has inspired you along your road to publication, would you consider nominating our website?
Just send an email to Writers.Digest@fwmedia.comduring the month of April explaining why The Writer's Alley is your favorite writing website. That's all there is to it!
Angie Dicken first began writing fiction as a creative outlet during the monotonous days of diapers and temper tantrums. She is passionate to impress God's love on women regardless of their background or belief. This desire serves as a catalyst for Angie's fiction, which weaves salvation and grace themes across cultures. She is an ACFW member and CEO of a family of six.