The Importance of Community
Writing is a solitary pursuit. Just you, your laptop or notebook, and the words. No one else can pen your stories. No one will write for you. It’s up to you.
And yet, writing is also a very community oriented endeavor.
I mean, you’re here, at Seekerville, which is a community of writers who encourage, instruct, support, and occasionally purse-whomp for one another. (Looking at you, Missy.)
As a group of often deeply introverted people, writers still need community. They can benefit greatly from having like-minded friends to accompany them on the journey. (Your family are great cheerleaders, and your church friends can be very supportive, but nobody gets a writer like other writers.)
Last night, I attended my local ACFW writer’s group (100 miles away) and presented a talk with my friend Gabrielle Meyer on Genre Swapping, the hows, the whys, and the why nots. It was so refreshing to be with other writers again for the first time in over a year at this particular group. Two weeks ago, I spoke at the Minnesota Christian Writer’s Guild on the topic of How to Avoid the Summer Slump. It was so great to see so many eager writers, to hear their stories, to see what they have planned for the coming months. It was like a big ol drink of spring water on a hot summer’s day!
What are the benefits of having a writing community?
I’m so glad you asked!
1. Encouragement. When things are tough, when the middle of your Work In Progress, or the middle of your career begins to sag, your writer friends can give you the boost you need to keep going, to write your way out of the fog, and to press on.
2. Education. I learn so much from talking with other writers, from hearing their experiences or their techniques. I learn every time I read a Seekerville blog post, because it is impossible for one person to know everything there is to know about writing fiction and this industry, but there are some really smart cookies here willing to share what they DO know and thus increase all of our knowledge.
3. Commiseration. They say misery loves company, and they ain’t wrong. When you don’t get that contract, when you don’t win that award, when you don’t sell through your advance, it’s nice to have some folks who ‘get it’ to commiserate with. (Just don’t let anyone wallow too long. That’s one reason we love Ruthy. She’ll bake you a cake, pat your hand, and then tell you to pull on your big-girl pants and get back to work.)
4. Celebration. If misery loves company, then happiness does, too. When you score that contract, when you win that award, when you hit a best-seller list…having other writers who know how hard and how rare those accomplishments are celebrate with you makes achieving them all the more sweet.
Where can I find my writing community?
I’m so glad you asked!
1. Right here at Seekerville. We love our writing community, and we’re always looking to grow it. If you’ve been a quiet participant until now, drop us a line in the comments so we can say howdy!
2. National groups such as: ACFW, The Jane Austen Society of North America, Western Writers of America, and so many more. There are writer’s associations for every genre imaginable.
3. Local chapters of national groups. You can often find a local chapter for a national group. If you cannot attend in person, there are often on line options.
4. Check with your local library. They often host writers’ groups in libraries, or they will know where local groups meet. And if you cannot find one, START ONE! The librarians would most likely help you out in this endeavor.
Writing is a solitary pursuit, but you don’t have to walk the entire journey alone. Write your words, but congregate with other writers, in real life and online, and join the writing community. You will be blessed, and you’ll have an opportunity to be a blessing, too!
Can Captain Wyvern keep his new marriage of convenience all business--or will it turn into something more?
Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life--especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero's dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man’s grieving fiancée and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.
When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.
Sophie is surprised to find she isn't opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed's elderly mother, and she's already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she'll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.
It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he's come to mean to her. Now she'll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.
Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/EricaVetschAuthor/ where she spends way too much time!