Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Writing is a Team Sport

If you've just sat down and started writing, you probably balked at this blog post's title. A team sport? Are you kidding me? Writing is a dark pit of solitude, requiring long, silent introspective hours in which the only parts of my body that aren't 100% sedentary are my fingers. Team, no. Sport, no.

I felt the same way when I started writing my first novel. In fact, I thought the lonely path was the only one.

So wrong.

One of the very best things about being an author is the support and camaraderie within the industry. It's amazing, and I feel compelled to give a shout-out to those who keep us writer folks company throughout our tiresome (yet exciting) journey.

Random Supporters-- They come in all forms and from even the most unlikely venues. These are the people who leave a Facebook comment to congratulate you on an accomplishment. They're folks prowling writers forums just to find the successful few and offer them a thumbs up. They retweet your tweets just to help drive traffic to your blog. They share your links and show genuine happiness for you even though you barely (or don't) know each other--because when a writer meets another writer, a special kinship is immediately formed.

Betas-- Gracious Beta, how I love thee! They sacrifice their precious time to help writers polish their manuscripts. Sometimes they are a friend or acquaintance, sometimes they are a stranger. Either way, they're givers, improvers and trusted advisors to which writers are eternally grateful.

Agents-- They are the gatekeepers. But they're much more than that. For a lot of writers, an agent gives the first form of professional validation, and it doesn't get much better than that. They're investors, believers, workers and dream builders.

Editors-- They are angels of greatness because that's what they do. No matter the writers skill level, no matter how solid the manuscript already is when it hits the editors desk, they can, and do, make it better.

Publishers-- They're door openers. They make it all happen by investing, marketing and selling your dream. They're also the ones who spend the most money on your dream, which lends their belief in your work that much more credibility.

Book Bloggers and Reviewers-- The key holders to word-of-mouth marketing, which is still the very best promotional tool at our disposal. They are the givers of visibility.

Readers-- They fulfill our book's purposes--to be bought, read, enjoyed and talked about. Without readers, there would be no books, writers, supporters, betas, agents, editors, publishers or book bloggers/reviewers.

Did I miss anyone?


  1. Great post, Rhiannon. I'd add a writing partner. Different from a beta, more a late-night friend to bounce ideas off and share nasty porn links. I'd be nowhere without mine...Regan Leigh has been my WP for over a year, and I can't imagine writing without her.

  2. Yes! Writing partners are fantastic, with or without the sharing of porn links. Thanks for mentioning yours :)

  3. Maybe the people who work at book stores... I've gone in browsing and after a really awesome conversation with somebody who works there, I've walked away with a book I've never heard of before.

    A lot of them don't get paid well, but work really hard because they have a passion for reading.

  4. Bookstore people rock! They're so excited for you when you pick a book they know you'll love. It's kinda cute, actually.