I think many people dive into writing thinking it's a solo journey. If you're an introvert like me you'll appreciate the alone time as you steadily tap out beats to the words in your head, but writing is far from a solo sport and there are some important reasons why you can't go it alone.
5 Reasons Why You Can't Do This Writing Thing Alone:
1. You Need More Eyes on Your Manuscript
Nobody and I mean nobody, not even editors, should assume their work is ready and polished for the eyes of agents, editors or publishers without having an additional set of eyes on their manuscript. Writer friends will catch plot holes, typos, awkward sentences and so much more. You may have poured over your manuscript hundreds of times but a new set of eyes will bring new ideas and issues to the table.
2. You Need the Emotional Support
If you don't need the emotional support, you're the exception. This writing journey is a tough one. From the dreaded query trenches to publisher rejections and low self-confidence, there is nothing better to get you through than to have other writers, who are going through the same thing as you, show their support. Sometimes we just need people to say, "I understand," "I'm with you," "You can do this," "Your writing is great and worthy of attention," to help you continue to put one foot in front of the other.
3. They May Help You Find Connections
What do I do if I see a post on #MSWL (Manuscript Wishlist) that fits one of my fellow writer's manuscripts? I message them. It takes so much time to scroll through what every agent wants and there are times I'm not even paying attention. I'm sure this goes for everyone. Not every writer sees every post and so when I see a #MSWL that I know matches a friend's manuscript, I tell them! (If you don't know what #MSWL is, it's a website and Twitter hashtag where agents and editors post what types of manuscripts they are seeking. Click here to visit the website.) Fellow writers can also tell you about agents and editors they liked or connected with in person at conferences. There are so many interactions we writers have with industry professionals, both online and in person, and it's really nice to have additional insight into who might make a good match for you and your work.
4. You Find Out About More Things in the Writing Community
Is there a writing contest or pitch party coming up? Is an agent offering query critiques? Is there a freelance editor that's offering discounts for a short period of time? Even if you keep abreast on these sort of things like I do, you probably won't be able to keep track of absolutely everything. Writer friends will keep you posted on contests they're entering and give you a heads up on lots of other writerly things.
5. It's Just More Fun
Writing has always been a passion, a hobby, and in the last few years a career goal, but it has never been as fun as it has been when I can share it with others. I love being able to talk about this awesome aspect of my life that interests me so much. I can talk about goals, setbacks, and so much more. The truth is, the writing journey is just so much more fun with friends.
To my writing friends (you know who you are) thanks for all you do! You are so appreciated!