I have so many writing ideas, but most of them live in my head.
Every writer has their challenges. Some folks write slowly, others have no ideas, and others have so many shiny ideas that they are forever getting distracted with the next thing. Others struggle with follow through – finishing and revising. Still others get stuck between writing and selling the novel. There are so many other possibilities as well. Left to our own devices, some of us will seize the prize, I’m sure… but if you read the acknowledgements at the end of the next novel you read… you’ll see that generally speaking, writing a book takes a village.
I couldn’t agree with this more.
The first manuscript I finished was not Fate, which I love to pieces… it’s a story I call Strange – an X-Men meets YA boarding school meets soft horror, I guess? Strange was my first ever NaNoWriMo novel… and up until I joined NaNoWriMo, I had little to no support for my writing outside of actually writing classes for my minor. My parents were vaguely terrified I would try to turn it into a career and of my small circle of friends, only a couple were interested in writing and anyway… it was college, friend circles were shifting.
It was one of my professors who pushed me to finish the novel.
Every time I came into class, he asked if I’d finished yet. And I’ll be honest, it felt more like “you can’t write a book in a month” than “you can do it”, but regardless of the motive, having something interested in my work made a difference. I finished the novel, and went on to finish several other first drafts as well.
These days, I have friends who ask with genuine interest. Even when I’m not writing, they help keep my love for stories alive. Having a beta reader who is also a friend is one of the best experiences I’ve had. I love talking about my book with her… and I love talking about her book as well! It’s an easy way to pass an afternoon and the conversation keeps building as ideas bubble and grow between us. Every time I finish speaking with her, I’m electric with the need to write, plot, something. It’s a beautiful thing.
I really hope everyone who writes has an experience like this. It’s motivating, but there’s also the sweet wildflower honey feeling of comfort and support. If you are a writer and you haven’t found a tribe – and your writing tribe can be many people, or just one! – look for writing groups in your area. Look for writing groups online! Look for blogs. A lot of book bloggers are also writers! Look for folks who share your passion and inspire you – you won’t regret it.