If you have worked in the industry very long, you have discovered that freelance writers do not have co-workers in the typical sense of the word. This means there are probably few people in your life that know what it is like to deal with endless revisions, snag a lucrative project or fight off writer’s block. However, putting together a writer support system is easier than you may think—look around you on and offline and you should be able to find a way to get that support you need.
Family and Friends
While your spouse, parents, or close friends may not be writers themselves, they do have one important thing in common; they care about you. These people want to know about the personal side of writing. You may not be able to debate the merits of the Oxford comma with dad, but he wants to know that your latest blog post got dozens of shares. Have faith in those around you and do not be afraid to talk about your job—it can actually be quite interesting to those not in the business!
Formal Writing Groups
If you live near a major city, you will likely find there are a number of groups available for writers, freelancers or work at home professionals of all types. These groups can help you find people nearby who may be able to meet you for a working lunch, attend that writer’s conference with you or just give you some company as you work over coffee.
The best thing about working online is that support is just a few clicks away. Look for web forums dedicated to your craft or consider building a group yourself on Facebook, LinkedIn or another social media network. While you may never meet many of these people in “real life,” you can build a friendship and support system full of people who understand exactly what you are going through. One great place to start is on your favorite writing platform or blog. Keep your eyes open and you can find nearly an unlimited number of other writers who are dealing with the exact same struggles you are.
A good support system is one of your best tools as a writer. While it can be a little nerve-wracking to walk into a formal writing group, send a private message to another writer online or even to talk to a friend about your writing struggles, the payoff is well worth the effort. Even if you are a highly capable, independent writer, it is always nice to have someone on your side giving you moral support as you slog through yet another persnickety revision!
Tracy S is an experienced content writer who loves cats, a good fantasy book, peanut butter and being right.