Writing Is Not An Island
I always believed that writing was a solitary effort before it went to the publisher, and then you had a whole team once they gave you a check. (I was 6 when I wrote my first story so I apologize for my ignorance.) I never let anyone read my writing outside of school for quite a few years because I didn’t understand when someone gave you a critique, they were trying to help make your story better, that they weren’t making fun of me.
Then when I was about thirteen, I discovered the wonderful world of fan fiction. I thought it was so cool that people came up with stories about different things they liked and did not get sued by whoever owned the rights to the source material. I would write reviews and encourage authors to keep going because I liked their stories, and wanted to read more. Fanfiction took up the majority of my reading material for a while, and I think my parents liked it because I wasn’t buying more books to add to my already overflowing to be read pile.
Fanfiction gave me the first writing community that was outside of an English classroom. It was the largest group of writers I had access to at a young age. I can honestly say I would not be the writer I am today without it. I met my best friend through a Fanfiction website. She’s the one who I first bounced ideas off of for my current works-in-progress. She’s helped me through some of my darkest times, and is now my roommate. We share work on a regular basis. She has encouraged me but also tells me when a story isn’t the best.
Writing while being a part of a community makes an often lonely task more enjoyable, and helps during those days where I forget how to form sentences. It makes me a better writer. It has given me more than just a strong plot. I have gained some of my best friends.