We have all heard the cliché: writers/authors take part in one of the loneliest occupations in the world. Some people have actually even come to believe it, but in my opinion----nothing comes farther from the truth. Writing is about teamwork, let me show you why...
“If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company."― Jean-Paul Sartre
It's true that any writer wishes to type away undisturbed, undistracted, and preferably: unnoticed. It's also true that as a writer, the only one who can write down your story is---in fact---you. And although there are many people who would argue that writers are never alone due to the fact that they are surrounded by an imaginary cast of characters, at the end of the day, you walk out of that writing office alone. But that doesn't mean that writing is a lonesome job. As a matter of fact, I am of the very strong opinion that it is impossible to write a story without a good team to support you.
"In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable."-----John Steinbeck
Allow me to explain myself... Yes, it is the writer who puts the pen to the paper and jots down the story. However, his/hers aren't the only hands moving to beat the story into shape before it is published or even goes on submission in the first place. The first hands to move through the document after the writer's, are most likely those of a dear friend who you do not fear asking if they could have a look at your work. And we all know how that feels... "Here's a knife, try not to stab me in the back when you aim for my soul." The first red pen will scribble on your pages, pointing out the first successes and the first failures of your writing.
Then, perhaps, you will look for a beta-reader whom you are not familiar with, or maybe even ask a group of other writers to have a go at it. Mind you, this isn't something that happens exclusively after writing down those magical words: "The End". The process of having one or more beta readers look at your work is a continuous activity. It can start with a single chapter; just have someone take a quick look at it. You urge them to 'just skim through it' (because we, writers, are modest and shy like that). Soon you'll notice that the feedback you receive from these people is useful, and you will ask them to look at another chapter. It could also happen that the way someone gives feedback on your work doesn't quite fit your style. You will have to look for another person who might be a better match. Either way, somehow, in some magical way, these meetings happen more and more frequently -suddenly turning into a weekly thing... a monthly thing, anything.
It really is all about teamwork
After eight or eight hundred drafts (I'll leave the truth to this in the middle), you feel ready to find yourself an editor: another person who will look at your work and discuss things about it with you... not with your characters: but you. Someone with whom you can brainstorm out loud, who listens and discusses the possibilities with you. And from the editor, your work might go to an agent, and from the agent, it may go to a publisher and another editor, etc., etc. It is because of this exact reason that I find being a writer/author anything but lonely. Despite wanting to write in peace in quiet, the process itself is all about teamwork. It's about including experts, whether they are readers, other writers, or editors: you can never write a book on your own. I mean, sure, I may get some backlash on this with the self-publishing industry producing more books than it ever has. I'm sure there are some lonely birds in that circuit that have done everything on their own, from the writing, to the editing, and to the final cover design. Although possible, I for one, doubt the quality of these productions. But hey, prove me wrong.
I have friends coming over to do read-throughs almost weekly. I meet with my editor (who is an absolute miracle in pointing out the things that me and my friends overlooked) every other week. Maybe you already read the news about her in the introduction of the team behind the Singularian. She is now an acquisitions editor for Urano Publishing (U.S.)
Every now and then I receive word from an agent (some asking for more, others rejecting my work because that's how this game works). So, no... writing isn't lonely. It is a very social job that demands you to seek contact with other people. It's about networking, about keeping in touch with the people you enjoy having on your team. That being said, I suppose the best advice I can give you is to go out with your work. Find people to share it with, keep in touch with that editor, and meet frequently with your friends. You'll find it more useful and inspiring than brooding in front of your screen.
The Team behind The Singularian Grimoire Anthologies
The entire concept of The Singularian could never have gotten this far if I would have produced it on my own. I spent countless hours with Sam, my beta reader and Graphic Advisor, brainstorming about the grand scheme of things. Before laying out the puzzle pieces for the readers to solve, we have spent days, weeks, months, exploring the possibilities of the different pieces, arguing about their place in the overall narrative. Having it all thought out and having someone to keep an unbiased eye on the progression of the story, is the reason you can now dive into the books of season 1 and still make sense of everything once you move on to season 2. Btw, have you ordered your subscription to the monthly books already?
The same could be said about the quality of the books themselves. Producing your own franchise is one thing, but making sure the quality is just right... that's work on a whole different level. Lydia, my editor-in-chief (and biggest fan), looks at the quality of the writing, to make sure that every month, you get only the highest level production in your mailbox/on your doormat.
And I'm not even talking about all the other supporters out there. Every subscriber to the Singularian Grimoire Anthologies becomes part of the team. It is your feedback that makes this all as successful as it is today. With a subscription to the books, you are not just someone who sends money into a bank account (as is the case with many Patreon concepts). Very often, becoming a patron means little more than providing money for an artist to keep doing what they do, while receiving some goodies in return. With The Singularian Grimoire Anthologies, it's not about the money. You are buying yourself a new book, every month. 100% of the income is used for the production and shipping of the books. This isn't about support, this is about you joining an insanely large new universe to explore. What are you waiting for?
Tags: #amwriting #WritingCommunity #loneliness #writers #teamwork #editors #amediting #agent #amquerying #betareaders #network #networking #writerslift #WritersCafe #MentalHealth #SelfCare #author #authors