Writing Without the Support of Family and Friends by Janelle T. Riley
As a writer we would like to have someone close to us read our work. Who do we go to once the manuscript is finished?
Family and some of our closest friends of course, since they are—so we think—the ones who will give you the feedback you are looking for.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. I have one friend who reads for me, out of hundreds, and my own husband has yet to read any material I’ve written since we’ve been together. Disheartening, yes, but don’t let this discourage you in any way.
Let’s face the facts. Family and friends are busy, and the last thing they would like to do is to sit and read hundreds of pages of our masterpiece.
I’m sure they would like to, but in actuality, the time isn’t there.
The other thing to consider is not too many family or friends have the heart to tell us whether or not they liked the manuscript. In their minds, they don’t want to hurt our feelings in telling us so.
In my honest opinion, this is more hurtful than anything. The only way we will perfect our craft is to receive honest feedback—no matter how hurtful it may be.
Lastly, there’s always a family member or friend who simply can’t stand to read. However, they are extremely proud that someone they know is a writer and are rooting for them every step of the way.
They will even ask for a signed copy even though they hate to read, but the truth is they’re only going to have these books out for more as a bragging piece whenever other friends or co-workers are around.
Again, these are things you as a writer shouldn’t become discouraged over.
I had to learn this appalling fate during my journey as a writer and accepted these facts.
Nevertheless, I did happen to find other writers outside of my family and friends.
Yes, you can find other authors within different communities who would be willing to read for you and give you the much-needed support and added encouragement you’re seeking.
FIND WRITER SUPPORT AT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
Librarians usually announce writers meetings as soon as someone enters the building, or in my case, they hand out monthly newsletters.
Within the newsletter, you will find various writer’s groups that hold meetings where other authors read or critique each other’s manuscripts.
If you’re extremely shy about someone reading your work, you can always attend without participating just to get a good feel and to possibly find an individual or two that you are comfortable with. These kinds of meetings are a great and fun way in meeting new people and gaining a good network of writers to work with.
FIND WRITER SUPPORT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media isn’t all about airing out dirty laundry or a place to hook up.
Believe it or not, there are some writing groups with great people who are absolutely helpful. I must say, the support and outstanding encouragement from some of these writing communities are truly amazing.
Facebook, Twitter, and oddly enough I just found out there is a writing community on TikTok.
Check around and see which one would be a great fit for you.
Remember, you don’t have to join a group if you’re not comfortable with any of its members.
CREATE YOUR OWN WRITER’S GROUP
You can create your own group and have the ability to make your own rules and run it to how you want.
To find like-mind writers, Facebook is a good start.
Even Google has a tool where anyone can create a group. The great part is there’s no charge.
The other nicest thing about creating your own writer’s group, you get to have fun interacting with the members, while making it a safe space for you and others.
Writing is hard enough as it is, the last thing we need is having to worry about who’s going to read our manuscripts. You can not only find support from outside your family or friends but with other writers, you can also find friendships that will be cherished for a lifetime.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janelle lives in Louisiana with her husband, their three children, and Hamilton their half lab half rottweiler. Along with writing, she’s a professional photographer and enjoys being outdoors photographing people and nature. When not writing or photographing, she enjoys traveling, drawing, listening to music, and cooking.