Look Around the Room: Those Are Your Supporters
By Blythe Daniel
As a literary agent, I’ve seen a lot of book launches. And as an author, I’ve launched a few books myself. What I’ve noticed is that the people you are in a writing community with are the most likely to support you through the entire book publishing process.
When you are in a writers group, attend a conference, or are part of an online writers group (yes, Zoom counts!), you are part of a community that acts like a family supporting each other’s work. The friendship goes deeper than just friends gathering—you are supporting one another’s dreams.
With so many different options for writers these days, there are easy ways for writers to connect to gain comraderies, sounding boards, and another pair of eyes on your writing. Writers conferences give you the opportunity to get feedback on your book idea. A critique group allows you to get feedback from readers who will share with you areas you can polish or revise as you work to complete your writing. Online groups also serve as a family who believe in you and will most likely be the ones cheering you on as you launch your book.
So look around the room. Do you feel alone in
your writing journey? Who are the people you can ask to be able to join their
group? Can you start a group in your home or online?
The best part of being an author is writing with a community and releasing a book with the help of your community. There are too many steps in the process of both that, if you are alone, it is a hard path to walk. I have made some of my best friends in community with other writers. Friends who get me and support me and I support them.
Not all of your close friends or family may even understand what you do as a writer and know how best to support you. They can have good intentions, but your writing friends bring a level of encouragement and help as you write and then release your book. It’s not that we need validation, but we do like affirmation that having a writing group can bring.
I like to take pictures when I go to writers conferences because it reminds me who is in my circle and whose circle I’m in. It can help you feel connected when you follow up, pray for, or recall who you want to see succeed in publishing their book. Another thing I like to do is create intentional times at conferences to see friends and talk with them. Writer friends, clients, or editor friends I work with. It’s one of the best ways to feel like you have your group of people who understand you and you are investing in each other.
Online groups are something that you can do from anywhere. Our agency gathers as a group online and it’s a way for our authors to connect with each other and see who all their supporters are.
As you consider the chairs you’d like to see
filled in your actual living room, office, or favorite writing space, how will
you be intentional toward filling those chairs and being a part of others’
Daniel is a literary agent, author, and marketer. Her agency markets books
through podcasts, blogs, launch teams and traditional media, and represents
adult and children’s non-fiction and adult and children's fiction. Blythe has
been the publicity director and marketing director for Harper Collins
Christian Publishing and has been a literary agent for 18 years. Blythe and
her mother, Dr. Helen McIntosh, co-authored Mended: Restoring the Hearts of
Mothers and Daughters (Harvest House) and I Love You Mom: Cherished Word
Gifts from My Heart to Yours (Tyndale). Blythe and her daughter Calyn
co-authored Let’s Be Friends: A Tween Devotional on Finding and Keeping
Strong Friendships (Harvest House). Blythe is married and lives in Colorado
with her family.