You’ve probably heard it said a million times, writing is a lonely business, and it’s not wrong. Writing can be lonely as you sit and bleed out the words in hopes it will be the next bestseller. Days are spent on your own with only your laptop for company and that’s okay. That’s the decision that writers choose to make, but you do need an outlet too. People to bounce ideas off, to boost your spirits when you’re having a rough day, to help you figure out a tricky scene, or even to help you see how far you’ve come.
Now I know many people will say isn’t that what family is for, and they might be right, but one thing family can’t do is understand writing frustrations, imposter syndrome, lack of confidence in your words, and so on. Unless of course you are part of a family of writers. Not many are though so finding your tribe is very important. This is a group of writers that you can discuss things with, writers that want the same things as you, and writers that are supportive and encouraging. It’s a lot to ask for, but it is possible to find, and I’m delighted to say that I’ve found mine and with their help and support I also have a full request for my latest novel.
How did I find my writing tribe?
In 2017 after two successful self-published books I decided it was time to get serious. Self-publishing for me was a fear-based decision. I was, and still am to some degree, terrified of rejection and self-publishing allowed me to avoid this. By the time 2018 rolled around, I wanted more, and I knew that in order to get that, I was going to have to step out of my comfort zone. I was going to have to invest in my writing career if I wanted one. I started attending courses and workshops and learned so much. The advice and tips I picked up made me remember why I wanted to write in the first place. The people teaching the courses were traditionally published and they had all been where I was. The difference was they faced the fear of rejection and didn’t give up. I wanted this to rub off on me and I always came away feeling so confident and motivated.
Courses and workshops are great, but the expense soon adds up. I also discovered that most of the courses are held in Dublin and if getting to Dublin is difficult for you, this puts the learning out of your reach.
I became a member of numerous writing groups on Facebook but none of them gave me the satisfaction that attending courses and events did. Most of the groups were focused on self-publishing and money, and many were US based which meant the discussions took place while I was asleep. I was also very disappointed to read the advice that you needed to publish a book a month or every six weeks to be successful. What? Where was the time for editing and redrafting? Where was the time for letting the story sit? The final straw for me was when a new writer was advised not to worry about editing, to get a couple of beta readers or friends to read the book and worry about editing when they were earning enough to pay for it. The main thing was to get the book out there. I’m sorry, but that is the worst advice I have ever heard, and it had me hitting the remove button quicker than anything.
It was around the middle of 2018 that I stumbled upon an article about a new writing group called IndulgeinWriting. It was a paid membership group, but it sounded interesting. I clicked the link to read more about it and go to watch an introduction video interview with the brilliant Vanessa O’Loughlin. This writing group was going to have interviews with experts in all fields and you could watch them live and ask questions. The owner of the group was also a traditionally published author. I quickly signed up after watching the introduction video and I’ve not looked back since.
IndulgeinWriting has been the turning point in my writing career. The live events have included literary agents, publishers, and writers talking about the different genres and what needs to be included. There was even a talk from a police officer explaining all about police procedure for the members that wrote crime fiction. The best thing of all, was getting to ask questions in real-time and have them answered. It was like attending a workshop or course, but from the comfort of my home and for a fraction of the cost. A lot of the guest speakers stayed on the group to answer questions after their interviews as well.
The group quickly became my little bit of heaven everyday and the members are now like my family. They are there to encourage, support, offer advice, and so much more. It was through their encouragement and support that I wrote my first synopsis. This has led to a full request from an Irish agent for my current work in progress. When a number of members secured places on Meet the Professionals as part of the Wexford Literary Festival, the group owner organised live pitching sessions so that everyone was prepared. When I secured a contract for my short story, Moonlight Magic, there was an expert available to read and advise me on my contract. To say I’ve found my tribe would be an understatement. I’ve found much more. I’ve found friends that I am happy to call family and it never would have happened if I hadn’t decided to invest in myself and my writing.
IndulgeinWriting has given me the courage to face the fear of rejection and to pursue my dreams of becoming a traditionally published author.
(c) Amanda J Evans
About Hear Me Cry:
A forbidden love, a torturous curse, and a loss so great it destroys.
Isla is a warrior of the Summer Court. She has one mission, to keep humans out of Faery. Kill them on sight. When she inadvertently saves one and triggers the mating bond, her life changes forever.
On the run and hiding from her own people, Isla must protect the one thing she’s been trained to hate. With magic now flowing through her veins, she must learn to control it if she is to survive.
The faery are coming. Her once commander, leads the charge. Will Isla be ready in time? Can she harness her magic and resist the darkness?
As both sides clash, Isla learns that her kind possesses a cruelty she could never have imagined. Her loyalty will be tested. To save the one she loves, she must give up everything, including her life as she knows it.
Find out how the banshee came to exist in this dark fantasy retelling of an old Irish myth.
Order your copy online here.