The Importance of Community

A lot of people when they think of writers imagine very solitary, often socially awkward, people. This is frequently far from the truth, however. Many writers can be very gregarious and even outgoing… and even those who are shy and insular will talk your ear off if you take the time to let them come out of their shell and bring up the right subject.

What many readers don’t realize is that having a community of fellow writers is very important to the mental well-being of authors. This is hardly a new phenomenon. It’s only human to want to surround yourself with people who have similar interests and experiences. For writers that means people who won’t look at you like you’ve lost your mind when you complain that your main character is refusing to speak to you or consider calling the cops when you muse about the effectiveness of wood alcohol as a poison.

I, myself, have been extremely blessed in this regard. My husband is a writer, and two of my best friends also understand how this is because they write. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget how lucky I am in that regard, having my own little group of Inklings to talk to when I need to.

On Thursday, I was reminded of how rare that can really be.

While I was getting coffee at my day job, I overheard someone asking another coworker how their writing was going. My ears immediately pricked up: ooh, another writer! I took note of the scribe in question and made a mental note to speak to them when I had more time to do so. When I was at lunch, I got the opportunity to chat for a moment. He was walking past the table where I sat and I stopped him, mentioning that I overheard him talking about being a writer. When I told him that both my husband and I are writers as well, his entire face lit up.

It turns out that he’d been up here for a few years and that he knew no other writers; he had no one to talk to that would understand the frustrations and pains of being a writer! To find a fellow writer in the midst of his day job was a revelation. He was so enthusiastic about the idea of having someone to talk to that I had to let the rest of my Talaria cohorts know about him so we could all embrace him and make sure he doesn’t run into this situation again.

If you’re a writer and you have a community for love and support, count your blessings. Don’t take those people for granted. They can be your lifeline in more ways than one.


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