One of the strangest things I have found about being a writer is how few people I personally know in the same profession. I know plenty of doctors, nurses, teachers, painters, plumbers and people employed in an array of other occupations but when it comes to actually knowing another writer: the number has always been zero, zilch, zip, nought, no-one.
According to various sources, there are approximately 32 million books in print but do you think I ever came across even one of these authors as a kid growing up? Nope, I didn’t. Instead I spent my childhood, teenage years and most of adulthood either a) hiding the fact that I loved to write or b) when I did finally admit it to myself, never having anyone that I could chat to about writer’s block or my creative ideas.
I didn’t have a colleague who could help me stay inspired when I was feeling demotivated or challenged by my books. I never had anyone to teach me the ropes or give me guidance about this profession. For many years, it was just me, myself and I in this category.
Being a solitary writer in my group of friends, and possibly the wider community I lived in, always felt quite lonely. Oftentimes I felt like a lone wolf roaming the outskirts of society or an alien visiting from outer space because I had a fervent imagination and ideas that no one else could understand – only another writer could.
So when I finally connected with a fellow author in Sydney by the name of Amba Brown (founder of Finding Your Path Books) I can’t tell you how excited and blessed I felt. Finally someone who could understand what I was going through! I could ask her all my burning questions and if she didn’t know the answers, together we could help each other find out.
It wasn’t until I connected with Amba that I realized what I had been missing all those years – support, understanding, a sense of unity and camaraderie with other like-minded souls. The Internet didn’t really become a big part of my life until I was in my mid-20s (that is, from 2001) and Facebook wasn’t launched until I was almost 30 (in 2004 to be exact) but even then, during the early years of the Internet, there wasn’t a proper tangible way of reaching out to other writers like there is now.
Now we are lucky enough to have Amazon for those who wish to digitally publish their books, websites creators to help us set up our blogs, groups on Facebook to bring writers together for support and more information on publishing, writing and marketing than we probably know what to do with.
Because we are so few and far between I think it’s really important to respect and support other writers in the industry, whether they are at the beginning or climax of their adventure.
We aren’t a massive group so if we do what we can to help each other out, even if it’s simply sending good vibes to each other, then maybe we won’t feel so alone on our own personal journey.
And if by some chance you are blessed enough to meet a real life writer in the flesh (like I did when I met Amba, a motivational and positive psychology writer just like me!) then embrace this gift because really – there is nothing quite like meeting a fellow writer that you can also call your friend.