I’m thrilled to welcome Rhia as a guest today! Rhia is such an inspiration to writers, and her advice is beautiful. Enjoy!
Rhia G. Adley is a creative writer and blogger who works with fiction to inspire writers to “live out the story they want to tell.” She strives to find the connection between fiction and real life, encouraging people to creatively write from the heart. She is currently working on several fantasy novels and is a big Tolkein fan. As an aspiring author, she is always learning and finding ways to grow in the art of fiction writing. You can read her short stories on her website and discover her mental meanderings on her Instagram and Facebook. She has always enjoyed writing stories for as long as she can remember, and today she is excited to share her work with you.
It was a simple text I sent to someone with whom I had had very little interaction with before. I knew she enjoyed fan fiction, so I thought I’d shoot her a simple text asking her for her thoughts on my main character’s rough draft. I wasn’t sure how she would respond to a list of questions like what are your thoughts on my main character’s personality, situation… what about secondary characters? Up until point, I had never sought the council of another – I preferred to do things alone. My blog, my short stories, all my creative WIP’s were created by a single mind – mine. It wasn’t until I actually ran out of inspiration I realized that, well, maybe my friends had some.
No man is an island. No writer is an island. Ask the professional best-selling authors and they will tell you it takes perseverance as well as interaction with others to create polished prose. Writing is a task that requires only one individual. Writing excellent work is a task that requires more than one person. Sure, you can sit on your comfy desk chair in your robe and snuggly sweatpants in front of your painfully bright computer screen while sipping green tea and enjoying your solitude. After all, isn’t that the public image of many professional writers? All alone, hacking away at the keys, brow furrowed, concentrating only on what is before them and not around them.
That was me. And in some ways, that’s still me. But the one text changed it all for me because I realized I needed others. A couple thousand texts later my friend and I still brainstorm, write and discuss our stories and WIPs. (We’ve even even tried to cross our stories despite the fact they are two completely different genres.) Interacting with someone who shares the same passion inspired me to reach out through my blog via several outlets. I joined groups on Facebook and used social media to connect with people. The experts say this is how you grow your fan base, but for me, it is how I increase my knowledge of fiction writing and what it takes to become a skilled writer.
Am great at this whole thing called communication and interaction? No. There are times when I would rather just do this alone, mainly for fear of criticism of my work. But how do I grow as a writer if I cannot learn to receive feedback as well as critique others’ works? How do I expect to increase my awareness if I am simply focused on myself?
I can’t do this alone.
I need to be part of a community, part of something bigger than me. We all want our stories to bring readers to a greater realization of life. We want them to believe in themselves and maybe even something greater than that. But how can we, as writers, do that if we don’t even seek to believe in the potential and inspiration of others that we are not even aware of? How do we expect to connect with readers if we cannot connect with our fellow writers? They are often our first readers.
No man is an island, they say. No writer is an island. People are full of inspiration. Sometimes they just another to come alongside them to encourage them to write down their ideas. Who knows where one sentence could lead? Who knew that one text would lead me to be more confident in my writing, take pleasure in it, and ultimately be more proactive in finding and sharing it with others? It is so seemingly simple, yet everyday I try to, in some way or another, interact with other authors and writers which can be difficult. I have so much learn.
You have a story to tell. Share it will others. They have a story to tell; help them find it. You are not an island. Neither are they.