Benefits of a Writer’s Support Network

Writing can be a lonely profession. But a writer does not need to be completely alone in his or her efforts. By building connections with people, writers find affirmation, encouragement, challenge, accountability, and grounding. Although a writer can write alone, I believe that a support system greatly increases a writer’s staying power – the ability to keep writing in the long-term. The people in a writer’s support system can include family and friends, but don’t neglect the power of casual acquaintances, critics, and the faceless reader.

English: Dew on a spider's web in the morning....
English: Dew on a spider’s web in the morning. Français : Rosée sur une toile d’araignée au levé du soleil. Русский: Утренняя роса на паутине. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Affirmation: People who call you a writer can boost your confidence when you are in doubt. I regularly write at a cafe where many of the servers and regulars know that I am working on a book. Every time I go there, people ask me how the book is going. Their belief in my ability to be a writer helps me to get going and stay on track.

  • Encouragement: This is a tough one for me. Writing is difficult but I don’t like to complain. On the other hand, allies who are writers or thoughtful readers can provide fresh insight or just nod as I talk about the current challenge until I find an answer (sometimes a journal just doesn’t cut it). I’ve learned that by having many people in my network, I can ask for encouragement from just one or two people and rotate through the people I confide in. That way, I don’t weigh people down (something I worry about).

  • Challenge: Tap into perversity when you come across a skeptic. The urge to prove the skeptic wrong can give you added motivation to push through all obstacles. When you feel the criticism is valid, push to improve your work and overturn the opinion.

  • Accountability: I feel that when I tell people I am writing a book, I am increasing my accountability. Sometimes their expectations are all that keep me writing. I do not want to let down people who believe in me. You can also ask people in a support network to help you keep up with deadlines (self-imposed or otherwise) by holding you accountable to them.

  • Grounding: Writers can get so caught up in the worlds of their creating, that we forget about the real world around us. People in support networks can help you reconnect with this world. Further, relationships generate and release emotions that writers need to experience for their writing to live. Not to mention they provide fresh fodder for conflict, dialogue, character, and plot! The people in a writer’s support network are a constant reminder of the larger world – distracting sometimes but a necessary ingredient in life.

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8 thoughts on “Benefits of a Writer’s Support Network

  1. Great post!

    Writing is such a solitary task, and it can be hard to stay connected with the “real” world. Short of begging (pleeeaseee…), I struggle with getting any responses from my friends and family. Hooray for my on-line fellow writers. Their support keeps me going.

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    1. I can see I’m going to have to join in somewhere – you are right – me and my computer – such a love affair. Well, good luck to you, and keep at it 🙂 E

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  2. Agree with the others, great post. I think it’s very easy for writers to get lost in our own little world, especially when we’re surrounded by people who may not necessarily understand the creative process.

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    1. Hi – well as my little world seems to be inhabited by vampyr and werewolves etc the switch between realities can be a bit of a jolt – wouldn’t give it up though. More addictive than chocolate. E

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