Writing is hard, but it should also be fun.
Writing a book is undeniably something you do on your own unless you co-write a book, but most of the time, it’s an activity that you do alone. You sit down and pour your heart and soul onto the paper. Interactions aren’t what writers are known for, and sometimes, it can feel heavy on your shoulders. There are a lot of reasons why you may struggle, from trying to balance work, family, and writing, and fit everything in one day to doubting your writing skills. When you start spending a lot of time looking at the cursor blink on your screen or looking at the white paper mocking you, walk away.
Walk away and know that they are a few things you can do about it. This isn’t the end, but the beginning of your journey. If a journey was supposed to be easy, we would probably have no books written. Everything comes from an internal or external fight (often both). So, fight for what you believe, stand up for yourself and push, but make sure you have fun while doing it. Fortunately, the things that you can do are pretty easy to apply. I may warn you though, some ideas will require a little more time than others, but when you’re consistent and willing to push, the only limit is YOU.
Writing is hard, but it should be fun. So how can you improve the social experiment?
Connect on Social Media
As a writer, you need to grow your Author Platform. If email marketing should be your number one priority, growing your online presence should be close second. So, connecting on Social Media is important.
I decided to give Twitter a try about a year ago. After a couple of months of frustration, I figured it out, and when I did, a door opened to another world, the online writing community.
Social Media is full of everything (and I mean EVERYTHING), but my treasure was to find talented writers eager to share their experience and wisdom and help each other out in the process. And this is where the fun comes in. I’ve had laughter on bad days and unexpected support when I did not even know I needed it. Writing and blogging are solitary activities, but it doesn’t have to be.
While I’m growing Facebook and Instagram, more people crosses my path in the process. The secret is to build meaningful relationships by being genuine. Tim Grahl developed a philosophy about outreach when launching a book, and his approach is one that suits me – Be helpful, and be genuine about it. I highly recommend looking him up if you’re in the process of launching a book. The support and love you’ll receive in return will make any bad days look like a piece of cake. Also, don’t necessary expect people to return the favor. It doesn’t work this way. It’s more like believing in Karma. No one owes you anything even if you help.
These online writers (maybe without even knowing) are my rock. We support each other and we share our struggles, ideas, and successes. It’ll take the time to build that relationship, but it’s worth gold because at the end of the day, it’s fun to interact with them and it makes writing so much easier.
Facebook groups, writing groups, critique partners or any groups gathering like-minded people are great! I’ve recently joined a couple of them online, and the bloggers and writers there go through the same struggles as me.
The more exposed on Social Media you are, the more trolls you’ll meet. Sometimes, one of them can crumble the love that 15 people just gave you. The damages are far greater than one can think. We’re vulnerable, and we take it personally. A support system within the writing community will help you rise above and beyond, and it will help you take some distance with the comments.
You’ll need to be able to turn them into constructive criticism and ignore the rest. It takes time and practice to get there. Some people will be able to do this more easily than others. Stay on track, be who you are because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Never forget that writing should be fun even when things get in your way.
Sometimes I read about the struggles I haven’t faced yet, and it helps me be prepared to face them. We’re so much stronger in groups than on our own. It’s important to connect with one another and grow together whether it’s through a simple word of encouragement or a resource you badly needed.
Network outside Social Media
Networking will also help you face hard times. How? Blogging is a wonderful way to communicate with the world. I don’t mean you need to blog, but it’s great if you do. What I mean is go visit blogs and read the posts. You’ll find a wealth of information. When you read how everyone (just like you) faces the same struggles as you or at least one person did, you’re then able to cope with what affects you a little better.
If you engage and comment, you might even find the answers to your questions, or someone can brush a new way of dealing with it that you hadn’t thought about. It’s helpful for your writing and yourself. Also, there are very funny blogs. If you need a good laugh on a rough day, you should read a few. Comment on them and be part of the fun.
Word of caution: Never take more than you can give, or it won’t work. These groups are a wonderful support, but you need to be willing to push through too. You can’t expect laughs and support if you’re not committed to going the extra mile and building meaningful relationships. Be truthful, be genuine, and be you.
We all know that becoming a good writer will take work, consistency, and a full commitment. You will face rough times, and having support to face the worst will help you bounce back fast and find the courage in you to push forward. Writing will feel lonely only if you let it be. So, don’t. Instead, go out there and have fun with other writers. We all need a good laugh here and there.
I’ve been writing full-time for about a month now, and before that, I worked for 3 years from home, and I’ve never felt lonely. Yes, I’m alone when I write (well, depends if you count my cats), but the online writing community is full of possibilities when you know where to look. It’s always about finding the right balance.
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