Monday, September 25, 2017

Got Your Back


Author buddies, unite! Maybe that’s a bit melodramatic, but I can tell you now it’s great to not be doing the writing journey alone. Writing is often referred to as a solitary occupation, but over and again I’m reminded as a writer of the value of being in a writing community.  After some of the conversations with budding writers over this past weekend at Oz Comic-Con, I wonder if this is something we can sometimes take for granted. (For more about the Oz Comic-Con experience, drop on over to my blog.)

For those who are a little (or long!) way down the writing/publication road, can you remember being a newbie writer? That feeling of uncertainty, that sense of not knowing if you’d ever be published or if you were even good enough to be published. Ever. Add to that the steep learning curve of honing the craft. It can be a daunting mountain to climb. Once you’re published, there’s that rapid realisation (if you didn’t know beforehand) that the hardest work’s about to begin, with continuing the promotion and marketing you’ve been doing in the lead up to the release of your literary baby.

Let’s face it. Writing can be a tough gig, and unless you’re super famous, it’s not exactly the highest paying occupation … Now imagine doing that journey alone.


I love my writing group. You and I both know how much they feature in my blogs, and for good reason. They’re not only loyal and encouraging friends, but they’ve single-handedly (okay, multi-handedly) organised book launches, catered for workshops, offered financial counsel for events and got their hands dirty on many occasions to make writer gatherings a success. They’re also happy to act as critique partners and general champions of my writing, even when that book baby feels waaaay overdue. Yay for them! 😊

But the writing community reaches farther than that. Consider beta readers and editors, and let’s not kid ourselves. (Take it from someone who was a closet writer for over a decade.) If we’re not getting feedback on our work, firstly with critique partners, then with beta readers, our writing will never be challenged and it will never develop. Add to that the stroke (or 2000) of an editor’s pen, and you’re well on your way to improving your work. I don’t know any story that isn’t made better by a good edit by someone who isn’t being paid to stroke a writer’s ego. True, it can be painful, but it’s totally worth it in the long run.


What about publishers, or author services if you’re an Indie writer? Wow, that’s also a tough gig. How grateful I am to be guided by someone who knows about and takes care of ISBNs, distributors, bookstores etc. (Perhaps we should have ‘hug your publisher day’?) Hat off to those who do it themselves … although, if you’re in a community, you can also bounce ideas, problem solve etc. All the better when there's someone who can warn you about the pitfalls of vanity presses and such.

Where would we be without books stores and readers? There’s nothing quite like meeting new people in a bookstore or writing event generous enough to host you, and having the privilege of introducing potential readers to a story you’ve written. Even better is when those readers contact you or write a review to say how much they loved your work. (Oh, don’t forget reviewers!)


Long and short of it? Thank you for being part of my writing journey, and that of many other writers too. Whether we’re the equivalent of writing adolescents, grandparents, toddlers or newborns, we can each be a significant step in making someone else’s publication dream a reality. Pretty cool, right? Let’s never underestimate our part as writing community members. Now go forth and write!


Adele Jones is an award-winning Queensland author. She writes young adult and historical novels, poems, inspirational non-fiction and fictional short works, along with juggling family responsibilities and a ‘real job’ in the field of science. Her first YA novel Integrate was awarded the 2013 CALEB Prize for unpublished manuscript. Her writing explores issues of social justice, humanity, faith, natural beauty and meaning in life’s journey, and as a speaker she seeks to present a practical and encouraging message by drawing on these themes. For more visit www.adelejonesauthor.com or contact[@]adelejonesauthor.com

23 comments:

  1. Great post Adele. Love how you refer to different types of people who are in our writer's world and who help us on. The writerly body of Christ it is! And of course we have Someone as well in all of this who champions our cause every step of the way. How blessed we are. Loved all your pictures and well done on your books which I've greatly enjoyed! Keep writing! :)

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    1. We sure do have Someone who champions our cause, Anusha, no matter what obstacle we're facing in our writing journey (or life journey, for that matter). I'm very pleased to know you've enjoyed my books and greatly appreciate your encouragement. I look forward to reading your next publication too. Write on! :)

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  2. Great post, Adele. It's been so good to be in a supportive writing group for so long. We can all share each others' successes and commiserate with the odd rejection letter. I've been thinking about this in a broader sense lately too. Sometimes I've seen people join groups just so that they can market their books without contributing to the community. It's a real give-and-take. By contributing to writing communities, you get so much more out of them. Thanks for all of your encouragement with my writing over the years. Looking forward to many book launches to come. Maybe even mine!

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    1. That's a good point, Nola. Community involves giving and receiving, not just turning up to get what you want. But let me just say, the Quirky Quills are the most amazing givers. Hard to match that kind of generosity! (For which I'm so grateful) :) Oh yes, I'll definitely be at your book launch - with bells on(and maybe a few celebratory firecrackers)!

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  3. Thanks Adele. We need one another don't we? And for those of us who are NOT natural introverts we need other people to energise us :)

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    1. Well, as a natural introvert ... not. ;-) I try not to scare people when I get up to full steam. Hopefully it invigorates rather than terrifies. LOL

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  4. One of the things I love about CWD is how quickly a call to prayer rallies the faithful troops who don't 'really' know us!
    Yes the writing community is a worthwhile place to be...thanks Adele!

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    1. It sure is, Di! Definitely some faithful movers and shakers in the group. :)

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  5. Love your post, Adele. And so true - we need all those people - fellow writers, betareaders, editors, proofreaders, formaters, graphic artists, publishers, promoters, and especially readers and reviewers. Also librarians, booksellers, distributors, and maybe even teachers. Banding together and helping each other means we all go further and deeper than we would on our own. Love my team and my book buddies πŸ˜ŠπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ˜‰

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    1. Oh, you're right. There are many more roles to add to my list! I'm hearing you on the team and book buddy front. We are rather spoiled I believe. (Spoiled and very thankful to be. :))

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  6. Thanks Adele. Yes, I found my time hosting a small writers group was very fruitful. I wrote more and better, even began my novel Mirage. The others' feedback was very helpful.

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    1. It's such a positive to be surrounded by others who care enough about our writing journey to champion us along the way. I didn't know what I was missing until the Quirky Quills formed.

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  7. Well said Adele. 'Me, myself and I' does not a successful story make! It is wonderful to be able to share with others in their processes and rejoice in their successes. I've so enjoyed watching your novel family grow and thrive, and you with it. You have (and will continue to) bless your readers and the writing family. I love how you mentioned 'writing adolescents, grandparents, toddlers, newborns' etc, reminding us that we are not just a community, we really are a family.

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    1. So true on all counts, Mazzy. Indeed it has been a delight to share the processes and successes with others, and there will be many more celebrations to come, which I'm anticipating with much excitement. (I'm looking at you. ;-) ) Thanks for being there for the writerly ride. :)

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  8. What a lovely group of happy souls! Yes, you're very blessed to belong to physical writers' groups. I haven't had that privilege as yet. But it's nice to belong to our internet groups, though far flung we do enjoy what we have in common.

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    1. I'm always amazed how broad the reach of internet groups can be. So lovely to be connected in that way, and certainly a great alternative when physical writing groups aren't possible. (Never forget we're here, cheering you on!) Thanks, Rita.

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  9. Lovely post, Adele. It would definitely be a long, lonely journey to take all alone.

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    1. Thanks, Paula. It sure would be lonely going it alone. Pleased we've found a tribe of folk willing to walk beside us along the bookish path.

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  10. Interesting to think about. As an Author you think a lot about the time you spend alone and it is easy to forgot the 'family' you have around you. I think it's awesome that you took the time to point it out and remind us 'solitary' authors, that we really are not alone. :D

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    1. Thanks, TP. Definitely a whole tribe out there cheering each other on. You're right. It can be easy to forget that in the midst of plugging out a difficult manuscript or wrestling edits etc. Pleased to have you in the fam. :)

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  11. Well said Adele, and all so true. We certainly all need each other. It's an honour and a privilege to be part of your writing journey, and to have you as part of mine. x

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    1. Thanks for being such a big part of my journey, Janelle. It's been an absolute joy to share it with you and the other QQ girls. Looking forward to many more adventures. <3

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  12. Well said Adele and all so true, We certainly do need each other. It's an honour and a privilege to be part of your writing journey and to have you as part of mine.

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