Every morning, before I sit down to write, I make myself a piping hot mug of caramel hot chocolate, and sift through tweets and FB posts. More and more I have made a bee-line for one particular group on Twitter who gather around the hashtag #amwriting. Started by Johanna Harness back in 2009, this is an incredible group of individuals who all count writing as their profession. All over the world they get up each morning and begin their day of words counts, drafts, timelines, character sketches, letters to editors etc, and they tweet about it as they go.
Writing can be an incredibly solitary occupation; a fact which is something of an oxymoron when you consider the fact that writers are often fantastic observers of people. They are frequently able to put themselves in the shoes of another, and paint pictures with words of what life can be like through another’s eyes. But it can be hard to attempt to do this entirely alone. As John Donn famously said, “no man is an island unto himself.”
It has been a wonderful experience for me to discover that I am part of a community much bigger than myself; to hear from published authors and novices like myself, of their daily struggle to put pen to paper and tease out of their overactive imaginations new frontiers previously hidden worlds, and, at times, colourful characters. I have already learned a great deal about the writing process itself from my fellow tweeters, and have started to engage in a small amount of conversation myself.
Even when I am struggling to get a sentence out, or am wrestling with which direction to take a plot line, I can pop on to Twitter and find words of encouragement, wisdom and support. I think I can honestly say that since finding this community, and others like it, my productivity and creativity has increased exponentially. I am a-muse-d by it all, and can’t wait to see where it will lead.
So whether you are a struggling writer in a loft in New York City, a dreaming poet in the Australian Outback, an established author in a villa in Spain, or like me, a newbie, from a cosy corner of England, come join the party that is #amwriting and see where your creativity leads you from there. Community drives creativity. If you are a writer this is one community you will not want to miss.