Building Your Writing Community


community-groupby Jessica Leigh Lyons

You are a conglomeration of the five people you spend the most time with.

So says business coach turned mega-entrepreneur Marie Forleo.

Creative people, writers, and art enthusiasts: Surround thyself with others who are interested in creating. It’s essential for your thriving art.

Know How You’re Motivated

Turns out some people are motivated by being a part of groups. IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE PEEPS, it is really important that your surround yourself with other folks interested in creating their art. As much needs to go into building your community as your writing.

If you’re not one of those, you’re still gonna want to read Alexandra Franzen’s article on the six types of motivation.

So, here’s the part where you tell me you’re an introvert. I’m down with that. But you’re still going to need to build a solid team of editors, publishers, and writers to help you up-level your work.

There are two places to explore:

How you want to feel when you’re creating your tribe?

and

where do you find the right people?

Here’s the beautiful truth: You have to feel good with your creative community for it to astronomically affect your work.

We’re going to take a line from Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map and explore for a hot second:

How do you want to feel when you are interacting or involved in this community?

  • Inspired
  • Motivated
  • Curious
  • Creative

When you’re talking with your editor?

When you’re planning with your publisher?

When you’re getting feedback from your writer’s group on your newest creation?

Once you’re clear on how you want to feel in your community, you can seek out individuals and experiences that are in line with that.

Where, Oh Where, Do You Find Your PEEPS?

  1. Tap social media. Facebook has groups for people to share resources + connect with one another. We have one called Writer2Author. Drop on in. Tell us what you’re currently working on, tell us your dreams, and share resources!
  1. Look for a writer’s group. Check libraries and your local writer’s center to find a group that suits you — and commit to going. Or start your own!
  1. Get information. Sign up for email lists to stay up-to-date on happenings, resources, and opportunities to hear experts talk about the life and times of publishing your work.
  1. Find folks who challenge your artistic and courageous side AND can co-create with you. Writing can be a solitary practice, so you should look for people you respect to offer critiques or embellishment when you are really on to something. Your team might be your publisher, your editor, and a few others in a close writing circle. That circle is a group that can catapult you to new levels in your work.
  1. Get supported. Hire a coach, take a class, join a group of writers on deadline, ask for an accountability buddy. Our resistance shows up in bloody big ways. Steven Pressfield has some really beautiful things to say about how to keep resistance from stopping your muse in his book “The War of Art.”

Tell us how you’re building your community! I’m on Facebook, Twitter-ish, and Instagram.

Jessica Leigh Lyons is a life coach who works with women to help them create a life of joy. She is also a Desire Map facilitator helping women (and some awesome dudes) discover their Core Desired Feelings. Find out more at www.jessicaleighlyons.com.

Sharpen your quills and fill your ink pots. Possibilities Publishing Company wants your scariest, creepiest, ghostliest, weirdest, original stories for a Halloween-themed anthology to be published — you guessed it — right around Halloween 2015. Click here for more info or to submit a story.

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