Thursday, January 22, 2015

Interactions That Have an Impact

So yesterday I was at a loss about what to write about for today's post. Then @chris_mahan challenged me to write a blog post about him, and this was my response:
Sadly, though, Chris' ego will take a slight hit: this post isn't going to be entirely about him. This post is, actually, about the fact that one of the most important things that I've learned since entering the Twitter writing community, is that making connections and forging new friendships with people-no matter how alike or different you are-is incredibly important. 

Something that I feel like people (me included) forget when writing, is that it's not as much as a single-person profession that many like to believe. Sure, there might be one person writing it (and all of the editing and team-work that goes into book releases is a completely different story), but never forget that every interaction you have in the world impacts you and your writing.

Every. Single. Interaction.

Particularly when it comes to interaction with other writers. If you want to be published traditionally, read self-pubbed, and vice-versa. If you're a fiction writer, read nonfiction and poetry, as well (and every combination thereof). Read short stories if you normally write novels. Trade pieces of writing and let yourself be critiqued.

These are all ways to make yourself not merely a better writer (which yes, is important to a certain level), but also a more rounded one. Every person and writer you meet will have different struggles in their life. Listen and share your own (although, disclaimer: only if you're close enough to actually share stories like those). Read styles that differ from your own, and ultimately take away from every encounter the fact that you can always learn something.

Which brings me back to Chris: he and a handful of other Tweeps have become a kind of go-to community for me. I've read their work and processed their writing styles; I've chatted to some of them at length about their writing processes, as well: how they plan out their novels, develop characters, etc. While not every trick that they use will work for me (and vice-versa; always remember that your process will be slightly or even majorly different than someone else), it's always worth thinking about, and observing how it plays out in their works as a whole.

As my nonfiction professor says: steal everything. And figure out how to make it work for you, which will invite you to think in new ways. In my experience, the information you get from actively interacting with other people (and writers) can be the most valuable knowledge you ever get.

Tweet It:

Blogger @Rae_Slater says interacting with other writers not only makes you a better one, but a more rounded one. (Click to Tweet)

8 comments:

  1. I can't thank the writing community on Twitter enough for helping me improve my writing. And of course, if I weren't on Twitter, I wouldn't have found you, my wonderful CP! ;) Excellent post!

    Briana | The Novelista

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    1. *blushes* Oh, shucks, Briana. You're a great friend, and I know I'm so glad we met. Twitter's responsible for the majority of the opportunities that I've gotten in the past year, and I know that I'd never be the same if not for the great connections I've made.

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  2. Twitter writers ROCK! *hugs computer*

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    1. They do! Everyone I've met is so sweet, so open-minded, and so ready to help out when someone needs it. It's irreplaceable as a community.

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  3. Prior to joining Twitter, I didn't really know or interact with many writers. Now I'm interacting on a daily basis with dozens of different writers, reading their blog posts and learning more about the industry as a whole. We're all in this boat together - nobody should ever assume that writers should be 'rivals'; we should all be helping eachother to better our work and move closer to being published.

    Excellent post!

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    1. I feel the exact same way! It's so great to see such a great community and the way that people are coming from all sorts of backgrounds into this industry, and that they're all so supportive.

      Thank you, Brett!

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  4. I know it's a bit on the late side, but for any of you blog-crawler types, here's my answer in full: where I nearly embarrass Rae, except not. http://christophermahan.com/writings/the-rae-rant.html.

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    1. This is still an amazing answer, Chris ^_^

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