Today I want to reflect on the community of authors. I mean both in the grand sense of all authors, and a couple smaller groups in my life. In particular, I want to voice appreciation for the camaraderie I experience with them.
The world has so much vitriol and hate. Social media often descends into the person who can spew the most criticism. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, and when a person writes a book or short story and throws it into the world, you have to expect the good, the bad, and the ugly! But rather than fellow writers putting each other down and bashing others’ content, I find more people applauding and supporting each other. So many authors represent the wonderful side of humanity.
Here are two examples for me, but I know more exist:
-I am part of the LGBTQIA+ writing community. I mostly interact with these folks on Facebook, Twitter, and email. There is a celebration of having our inclusive work out in the world! I feel a sense of uplifting each other, promoting others, and being together. In the true spirit of the LGBTQIA+ community, there is a safe space for everyone. I so cherish my colleagues there. For example, my fellow authors at Ninestar Press write to each other, give tips, and help each other whenever possible. It’s such a fabulous outlook on publishing and storytelling!
-I also am a member of the Horror Writers Association, and specifically participate in the Chicago Area Chapter. What a great group of people! I have always felt welcome and supported there. The chapter includes everyone from best selling authors, to librarians, to people starting out with writing, to me. I think people have an image of horror writers looking and acting like the monsters or demons we write about. If you ever get the chance to come to one of our events, and you SHOULD come to see us, you’d find the kindest, most embracing people. We all come from many walks of life, but again want to assist each other, as opposed to tear anyone down.
This is what I’m getting at: writing is hard work. You toil away in obscurity, until you venture out to give someone else a copy of your work. They criticize and edit it, you work on it some more, and you hope eventually to have it published. Then you brace yourself for reviews, sales numbers, and quite a bit of judgement. As much as I love writing and sharing my stories, this is not a business for the faint of heart.
It’s nice to know that those who share a passion for writing recognize this journey together, instead of thinking that bashing someone over the head will help their sales or take away competition.
Whether with authors in general, or especially within the affiliations of mine, I seldom encounter someone who is a complete asshat. I am honored to be part of these communities. And I am grateful for all the love and support!