I was having a conversation this week and was asked what it’s like to work alone as a writer, and as we spoke I realised I don’t do this alone at all. I knew there were plenty of people who helped me, and I’ve always tried to thank everyone as often as I could for helping me grow and allowing me to do what I love every day, but it made me realise people don’t always understand that to write and publish a book, although you could do it on your own, it’s much easier and more fun if you have a tribe to encourage and support you. So, I thought I’d share a bit about My Tribe this week and how they help me write and publish.
My Local Writers Group: The Gladstone Region Writers are my local writer’s group and I love that I can catch up once a month with people who love books and writing as much as I do. We talk about our latest projects, our win’s and losses for the month, and we all help and encourage each other where we can. We also go away on a writing weekend at least once a year which is a great opportunity to get plenty of words down on my current WIP (Work In Progress).
Facebook Groups: These can be a double-edged sword. They are great for inspiration, learning, and networking, but I do have to be careful searching through them doesn’t cut into my writing time. Most of the authors in these groups are happy to share their knowledge, give feedback, and offer free advice, and it’s the perfect place to meet other authors.
Author Friends: Through the groups above I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some amazing authors who have helped me, kept me sane, and inspired me since I published my first book Dawn of the Dreamer in 2015. I talk to each of them a few times a week despite some of them living on the other side of the world and wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for their support. They’ve taught me so much about writing and the world of publishing, and despite having not ever met some of them face to face, I feel lucky to call them friends.
BETA Readers: BETA Readers are so important. They are the people I trust to read my finished manuscript to give me honest feedback so I can make sure it’s the best it can be. Without BETA readers I wouldn’t know if my story was reading the way I wanted it to, or if the way I worded something was coming across the right way. They are an important part of the process and I’m so lucky to have an amazing group who I trust to give me great constructive criticism which is how I grow as a writer.
Editor: If you spoke to my editor the first thing he’d tell you is I suck at comma placement. It’s something I’m working on, but without him, you’d struggle to make sense of some of my sentences and the flow just wouldn’t be there. He smooths and polishes my finished manuscript so everyone can read and enjoy my story.
Cover Designer: Despite the saying people definitely judge a book by its cover, so after all of the hours I’ve put into a story it’s important to have the perfect cover to draw in the right reader. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a couple of great designers and I think they’ve done an amazing job on each and every one of my book covers.
Publisher: My publisher does many of the things I had to do myself when I self-published. They organise the editing, the cover design, the formatting of the book, and also the marketing so it’s put in front of the right people. Having a publisher to do all of these things takes a big weight off my shoulder and means I can focus on what I love most… writing!
Readers: So, the books all ready to go, but without readers what was the point of everything else? With every great review, every comment, and every interaction on social media, each person who reads my work fuels me to continue writing. Knowing people are taking the time out of their busy lives to read my books and that they enjoyed them is the greatest reward. It’s why I write. So people can escape their everyday lives and disappear into a world I created.
Family & Friends: This could possibly be the most important group in my tribe. Without the support of my friends and family, I wouldn’t have released my first book, and I’m not sure I would’ve gone on to write what I have since. They keep me sane, help celebrate my wins, and pick me up when I’m finding things tough. They give me the space to write and understand when I can’t form a sentence because I’ve been editing a manuscript all day. I’d be lost without them.
As you can see it takes more than one person to release a book. Without my tribe, I’m not sure if I would’ve come so far and achieved so much in such a short amount of time. I’m so thankful for every one of them and hope that you have a tribe that supports you and your passions in life.
Do you have a tribe of people who help you achieve your dreams and supports and encourages you? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!