Friday, August 16, 2013

Why Authors Need Other Authors

It's fairly obvious that authors cannot exist without the support of readers, and in this day and age - without the support of the blogging community. But authors also need each other, perhaps now more than ever given the indie revolution and the changing face of the publishing industry.

The authorial life can be a lonely one with only your characters for company while friends and family battle to understand why you spend days poring over outlines and character sheets, how you can spend weeks at the computer typing out words you're never quire sure are good enough, or how you can survive the months spent agonizing over query letters, publishing deals, editorial letters, revisions, rewrites...

There are some things about the writing life that only other authors can truly understand. Thankfully, given the advent of social media, being an author no longer has to be a solitary activity. Regardless of where you are in the world, like-minded writers are just a tweet away.

I am a fairly isolated writer. As an English native living in Finland, I don't have the possibility of joining a writer's group (they're almost exclusively for writers of Finnish, Swedish or possibly Russian works), there are few if any cons I can easily attend (with limited English content) and I don't have many personal writing buddies I can meet for coffee. While this sometimes gets me down and leaves me frothing with jealousy when online writer friends post pictures of writing retreats or the huge convention they attended in their home town, in general, I don't feel isolated because of the online community.

This month alone, I have received buckets of encouragement from authors via Facebook and Twitter, I have engaged in discussions on everything from voice to ebook formatting, best ways to promote as an indie and how to stay motivated through the muddy middle. I am so lucky to have stumbled upon two fantastic author communities.

1) The New Adult Authors Unite! Facebook group (#NAAU) where a diverse bunch of writers have come together to share their love of New Adult fiction, to learn about the craft and industry, and interact with other NA authors. I have learned so much through this group and have made so many new friends within the writing community.

2) The WIPMarathon team on Twitter. I stumbled upon #wipmarathon and since joining this group of writers, I have written almost 10k words since August 1st - quite a feat for me. I've never been so encouraged and motivated to write as I have since providing daily check-ins on story progress and weekly updates regarding the month's writing goals. I'd probably still be floundering around the 15k mark if it weren't for the WIPMarathon community.

Authors needs other authors. Yes, many of us are in direct competition for agents, for publishing deals, for readers, but that doesn't mean we can't support and encourage each other along the road to success because we're all walking that road together. Sometimes you'll be the one sprinting towards the three book deal and movie adaptation, stopping to offer encouragement to those still in the query trenches, and sometimes it'll be you in need of a helping hand to dust off rejection and find the motivation to keep writing.

What kind of experiences have you had in the author community?


  1. I clicked on the WIPMarathon link and it took me to a book on gargoyles...
    I do much better when I am a part of a group. Sharing goals makes me much more apt to keep mine. I like to do the What's UP Wednesday blog hop. Info is at It gives me a place to share what I'm doing and keep up with what other writer's are working on. I also love
    Both are very movtivating and have given me a network of writers to talk to.

  2. Sorry about that broken link Sarah - it's fixed now!

    It's great that you find sharing goals keeps you motivated :)

  3. Great post! Will check out WIP marathon group