Not only do they rock, they are spread out enough that any bumbling idiot, like me, can find them. More than once when I was discouraged about where my writing was, I considered giving up. Each time I pushed a little longer and searched a little harder.
First I found KBoards, that was my first glimpse of my writing tribe. I was writing short stories to self-publish on Kindle Unlimited. I read an article by Hugh Howie about how he’d struggled with exactly what I was going through. He pushed on, and I did too. KBoards had so much information that I couldn’t process it all at once. I still go back there once in a while.
That experience led me to FB writers groups, where I made my way into an online critique group. My writing craft went from terrible to passable in less than a year. I also almost quit over the critiques I got, but my critique partners didn’t give up on me, and I didn’t give up on my dream.
I took courses online, and in the middle of the pandemic, I took a writing course with Ashley Mansour, a personal coach and best selling author. My craft improved again, but I also learned more about structure, time management, and literary devices that I thought I already knew. It took me just over 30 days to finish Fantastic America with that course. I highly recommend Ashley’s course if you’re struggling to complete your first book, fiction or non-fiction.
I found more groups online that were there to help me edit my manuscript, query agents, and land the traditional book deal I’ve been chasing. Every time I need to learn about something writing related, I’ve found a group online (FB, Twitter, or on a site by themselves). The #writingcommunity group on Twitter is especially friendly and helpful. Pitmad and Pitdark prove that to me over and over again.
I haven’t thought about giving up in over a year. A lot of that is due to the social aspect of writing. I’ve found so many online groups whose members have overcome the same solitary struggles I dealt with, and helped me avoid lots of self-sabotage. If you’re struggling, find your tribe. They are out there and willing to help you help yourself.