The Importance of Community
This post originally published on Dec 30, 2015.
Our Wednesday Writers Wisdom comes to you today from me. I started blogging five years ago, found a writing community, and have not looked back since. Together with my best friend and writing partner, A.L. Mabry, my dream of a writing community of my own came true. Today, I want to share with you why community has been so important to us and how being involved in one as writers has given us not only the support we needed, but the confidence and courage to see our dreams through to reality.
The Importance of Community
February 21, 2010, the day before my birthday, I wrote my first blog post. I had no idea what I was doing, but it didn’t take me long to find my way around blogland. I didn’t have any likes or comments, and of course, there were few readers outside of my family. As a writer that needs to be read to feel validated, I held hope and doubt at the same time. My blogging began as a way to vent and share a humorous outlook at the daily chaos that involved my family. My daughter had recently been diagnosed with neurological disorders, and everything (and I mean, everything!) was a test—from effective discipline techniques, to rages, to textures, to hallucinations, and much more. As a person with severe hearing loss, I needed an outlet. I needed my voice to be heard, to know I wasn’t alone, and I needed to spin a new perspective on the daily challenges.
Thus, The Scoop on Poop* came to life.
Slowly, the readers came. I spent my own time seeking out other bloggers and found The Red Dress Club.* I checked it out, discovered what they offered, and realized the biggest thing missing from my life. I needed to write. I wrote much as a teen, and somehow lost in my whirlwind twenties, my thirties as a single parent. So much so, that when I wrote my first piece of fiction for this community, a rush swelled through me. Relief spilled from my veins, and words became the sweat that cooled my soul.
Just writing wasn’t enough, though. I needed to be read, a deep spawned ache for validation awakened. I needed a community that not only read my words, but offered help and instruction, pats on the back, and the honest, gentle critique that can only lead to improvement. For me, having a community was a no-brainer. I am a social beast, one of those who function best in an environment filled with people (well, once upon a time. A disability has a way of turning an extrovert into a hermit.) I needed community almost as much as I needed to write.
I really do have the ladies of The Red Dress Club to thank for my success. The Red Dress Club may no longer exist, and the spin-off, Write On Edge,* has also turned to dust, but the spirit remains. This is one of the reasons why I chose to turn my personal blog, My Write Side, into a community. I would not be where I am in the writing business without that community. It is time to pay it forward and offer others the same resources I received.[bctt tweet=”I would not be where I am in the #writing business without #community. #ourwriteside” username=”OurWriteSide”]
My writing improved. My support network is vast. My dreams of publishing came true—all thanks to community. I found my best friend and (writing) partner, A.L. Mabry, through community. I have made many more allies and support through the camaraderie of community. My author platform actually began in The Red Dress Club. The writers I’ve met have all come from a community of some kind, many of them on Facebook. All lend support in some way. I would not trade my community for all the money in the world.
In other areas of daily living, I needed community also. From parenting, to meal planning, sports, and more, finding like minded individuals keeps the woe-is-me pity parties at bay. Being able to give back even 10% of the goodwill I’ve received from all my communities means a great deal to me. Through Eat Sleep Write, I discovered the sheer joy that comes with supporting other writers dreams and goals, especially towards publication, and I want to continue spreading that joy, assisting in making dreams reality, and nourishing healthy writing experiences.
I need community. Even now, I still need community. I need you.
Welcome to Our Write Side. We hope you will find the community you seek here within our pages, on our forum, and on all our social media outlets. We want to help you succeed in your goals, whatever they may be. From the first word to the last, we are here for you. Take a look around, explore our menu. If we left out something you need, tell us. There’s a reason I changed this place from “My” to “Our.” It’s yours. Welcome home.
*These sites are no longer in existence.