Every writer I know who has lasted in the publishing industry for more than five years has one thing in common: a support system that functions on multiple levels. Everything about this industry (querying agents, sending stories out on submission, the erratic way in which we get paid, etc.) is designed to weed writers out and wear us down. But those of us with multi-level support are more likely to weather the storms of self-doubt.
There are three key types of support for writers:
Mentorship: People ahead of you in their career who inspire you.
Critique: People who offer feedback on your writing in exchange for your feedback on theirs.
Accountability: People who help keep you on track for your writing and career goals.
The key to emotional wellbeing and continued productivity is knowing which part of your support system to call on when. The crazy thing is once you start looking you can find support everywhere: from writers and non-writers, people you may never meet in real life, or authors who don’t even know you exist.
Are you lacking in motivation and inspiration? Invest some time in finding your mentors.
Have you refined your story to the best of your ability, and a fresh set of eyes would give you some perspective? Reach out to your critique partners.
Are you having a hard time carving out time to write? Lean into the accountability side of your support system.
If you aren’t sure how to build your support triangle, I’ve got you covered. Over the next three months this blog will take a deep dive into mentorship, critique, and accountability.
Taking time to build your support triangle now will give you a strong foundation that sustains your writing career over decades.