I love the topic of this month’s Fictorian posts. Community is so important to writers. I started writing almost ten years ago, and approached it like many of us do: huddled over a keyboard in a quiet little corner. Just me, my computer, and my story.
There’s a better way. Yes, as writers, we need to spend a bunch of time alone getting the work done, but we don’t have to BE alone. There are many resources and people out there to help make the journey more efficient and more enjoyable. And everyone I’ve ever met has lots to offer in return.
When I first started attending writing classes and conferences, I was looking for things I needed to help me get my stories off the ground, to learn the craft, to understand the business. I found so much more than that.
I was amazed to find that authors, more than almost any other group I’ve known, are friendly and open to helping each other. Over and over, authors who paused to extend a helping hand to me shrugged off my thanks, saying, “Someone took the time to help me. I’m just passing it on.”
That resonates strongly with me, as it ties in with how I try to live my life. In writing, as in other businesses, personal pursuits, religious beliefs, and family, the concepts are similar:
Give more than you take.
Encourage more than you criticize.
Take a moment to help someone. It makes you feel good, and means more to them than you probably know.
How you treat others always comes back around on you. Those who are too self-absorbed, mean-spirited, or even just inattentive to the needs of those around them usually end up as alone as we all feared we’d be as writers.
The rest of us build a community. The more I try to help, the more I offer feedback, suggestions, or encouragement, the more the floodgates open and I find friends ready to help me out when I need it. I don’t help others with the intention of getting something in return. The rebound happens all on its own.
So every day, look for a way to give.
If you then need to receive, the help will come, and that’s such a better way to live.
Frank Morin loves good stories in every form. When not writing or trying to keep up with his active family, he’s often found hiking, camping, Scuba diving, or enjoying other outdoor activities. For updates on his popular YA fantasy novel, Set in Stone, or his other scheduled book releases, check his website: www.frankmorin.org