Last week, I wrote on Writing Communities and asked for anyone with a success story on how the writing community at large has helped, encouraged, or inspired them, to let me know. One of my good writing buds, Natalie C. Markey answered the call. Keep reading to hear how Natalie reached outside the box to find a great support system and network.
Take it away, girl!
Recently Rachel Harris wrote about writing communities. Like Rachel, I’ve been amazed by the support and user-friendly attitude of writing communities. Though I share some of the same writing communities with Rachel (YA Sisterhood, Houston YA/MG, #MyWANA) I challenge her readers to think outside the box, as I did in finding more valued communities.
When I was in the early stages of writing my book, I knew that I needed to join some kind of writing group in order to learn about the industry and seek publication guidance. I thought, who better to ask than an author? So, I went to a book signing of one of my favorite authors, Kimberly Frost. I asked her about writing groups and she suggested that I join the local chapter (at the time I lived in Houston) of West Houston Romance Writers of America. My hesitation was that I didn’t write traditional romance. Yes, my YA has a romantic element to it but it is nothing that a reader will find in the romance section of their bookstore.
When I pointed this out to Kimberly she informed me that many writers in the group write in genres other than romance. The fact is that writing fiction is writing fiction. Whether I’m drafting a query letter for a YA or a romance, the elements are very much the same. The fact is that RWA is one of the most active writing organizations in the world. Members have access to so many valuable resources. I would have never thought about joining this group on my own and I’m so glad that I did!
Joining RWA not only has given me great resources but it also is responsible for the publication of my non-fiction novel. It was at a West Houston RWA meeting that I met NY Times best-selling author and co-founder of Who Dares Wins Publishing Bob Mayer. My book, “Caring for Your Special Needs Dog” published by Who Dares Wins in now available.
Another writing community that I advise writers to take advantage of is through your literary agency or publisher, once you have one. I love the helpful and team-like environment that the authors with Who Dares Wins Publishing have. We bounce ideas off of each other and help promote each other’s books.
Writers need community. After long hours of sitting alone in front of our computer and notes we need other people who understand us. The writing industry is full of resources and communities to take advantage of. Find the communities that fit you and you’ll further enrich your writing experience.
Natalie C. Markey is a nine-year seasoned freelance journalist. She writes for several local and National publications. After a professional career in PR and Communications, she now writes non-fiction and fiction full time from a forest in Arkansas. She lives with her supportive husband, daughter and dog. Follow Natalie’s blog Pen to Publish and on Twitter @NatalieCMarkey