Community Building for Writers and Authors

by Meredith Maslich

This morning, Jessica Lyons and I did our first radio show, via the lovely folks at “A Kind Voice on Books.” We took over their show and talked about our notion that being a writer and being an author are two distinct phases of a long continuum. The continuum of becoming a successful published author, however you personally define the term successful.

We talked mostly about the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset and the powerful impact that the right mindset can have on you as a writer working on completing a project and then as an author working on promoting or selling that finished project. We talked about the best mindset for navigating the feedback that comes during the rewriting and editing stages and a bunch of other stuff. You can listen to the whole show here.

But what the show got me thinking about more than anything was the concept of community. Jessica and I touched on the role of community during the show, but as we were getting ready to sign off and I was encouraging people to connect with us on social media or via “A Kind Voice on Books,” I realized how much I meant it. I really wanted people to give us feedback on the show — things you liked, things you disagreed with, things that blew your mind or just confused you. I want that feedback to help us grow but also because that’s what builds community  that act of reaching out and connecting.

One of the main reasons we were interested in doing the show — one of the reasons we at PPCo do just about anything we do, including go to festivals, interact on social media, develop e-courses, and maintain this blog — was to build a community of people who are seeking support, partnership, and growth as writers, readers, and artists.

Trying to build a community can be scary. You have to put yourself out there and risk negative feedback or other outcomes that we don’t anticipate. But the payoff — in the form of a thriving, diverse community — is worth it.

We’re planning to talk a lot more about communities, both on the show and in our revised “Writer2Author: Navigating the Journey” course that we’ll be releasing in the coming months. In the meantime, you can read Jessica’s blog post on the topic from our archives, which includes resources for building your own writing communities.

And we always want to hear from you — good, bad, or otherwise.

Meredith Maslich is president and CEO of Possibilities Publishing Company. She is also on the faculty at Story District (formerly SpeakeasyDC), where she has been teaching the art of storytelling for more than eight years.

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