You don’t have to write alone!

Recently I found myself re-reading Stephen King’s memoir On Writing. While King writes with a delightful irreverence, he offers a very grounded, no-nonsense perspective about writing. As I read this time, I noticed a recurrent theme that King writes within a deliberate community of other writers.

We learn very quickly that King’s supportive network is extensive and formed in both informal and formal relationships. His wife, Tabitha King, is his trusted first reader. Editors from the publishing houses provide other guidance and encouragement. He and some writer friends have even formed a rock band, The Rock Bottom Remainders, so they can talk about their writing within a creative and fun musical space. In fact, he recalls how fellow band member, novelist Amy Tan told him “it was okay to write” this memoir – a fact that isn’t lost to the reader as he dedicates the book to her.

No one is surprised to hear that a successful writer has a supportive network. A quick glance at a dedication or acknowledgements page reinforces this sense of community of the publishing world. We recognize that social engagement with peers and mentors helps writers excel. Critical feedback and affirmations help writers learn, experiment, and grow.

While published authors seek and find community, however, writing and the exploration of ideas for most of us is typically a very lonely enterprise. Our desks are behind closed doors, and we tend to write in isolation. So, in essence, we write in a paradox: we know that published writers benefit from sharing their work with others, but we avoid that sharing with our own writers.

This needn’t be the case. No writer should have to write alone. The Writers’ Exchange offers you a supportive network of other writers and editors to help you proceed and succeed in writing. If you haven’t done so already, take a look at our services and find yourself in a nurturing, respectful community.

Anne Maxham, Director