Discovering the #WritingCommunity

The date was March 12. I’d been on Twitter for nearly 8 years and had only broken 100 followers maybe a month or two prior. Originally, my account had been for a political following during the 2011 Canadian Federal Election, but shortly after that had concluded, I began tweeting about writing.

I’ve been writing since I was a young girl and coming up with stories long before that, though talking about writing to others – and using a social media platform to do so – was a first for me. But slowly, I became more used to it and soon I was posting about all my little random thoughts I’d have while writing and about the writing process.

Though this was quite awesome in its own right, I never seemed to be able to connect to writers in the expansive way that I wanted too. Yes, I was using the popular hashtags #amwriting, #writerslife, and #writerproblems, but I was only getting a like or two and maybe a retweet on posts I was making.

With that knowledge, back to my story.

The date was March 12. I was scrolling through Twitter – it had been a while since I’d had the energy to go through it – and a tweet jumped out at me. There was a shoutout from the account, Camilla Writes, calling to all writers on Twitter with less than 2000 friends (followers). She wanted these people (and probably all writers in general) to comment, like, and/or retweet, following everyone do did so.

I was astounded by this notion and extremely excited, so I joined in as soon as I saw the post. Sure enough, within moments of commenting and liking the tweet, followers started streaming in. My Twitter account was finally getting noticed and I was finally finding writing friends.

But what made even more of an impact for me was a hashtag Camilla used. #WritingCommunity.

One click and suddenly my Twitter feed was full of writers. Writers asking questions, answering questions, putting out polls. Writers posting tweets just like mine, only these ones have hundreds of responses, retweets, and likes. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but I was so happy.

Since that day, I’ve over tripled my followership, and found many more new writers to connect with. I’ve been on Twitter daily, scrolling through my feed, answering other writers’ questions, commenting on posts with news on my latest work-in-progress, or just saying hi and introducing myself to others out there.

So for all those new writers out there looking for friends, leap over to Twitter. There’s a whole community out there just waiting to befriend you and help you with your daily writing struggles, needs, and triumphs.

#WritingCommunity. Look it up.

Until next time.

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Is There A Difference Between A “Writer” and “Author”

Writer: A person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation.

Author: A writer of a book, article, or report.

Looking at these two words based solely upon their definitions, you wouldn’t think twice about distinguishing a difference between them, and yet, many people consider these words to be very different after all.

Authors are published. Authors are respected. Author’s are to be taken seriously.

Writer’s are unpublished, looked down upon, and should just go out and get a “real job”.

Under these social constructs, I would be considered a writer and nothing more. I’ve never been published, and the pipe dream that I have about writing for a career is for the most part useless and just that, a dream. Nothing more.

But I would like to challenge the social norms and say that all writers and authors, whether published or unpublished, are one and the same. And I’m sure that there are many others in the writing community who will support my claim. Yes, there will be some differences between unpublished and published members of the writing community, but I believe it’s the differences that makes our community stronger, and more whole.

Many unpublished writers still have much to contribute to the writing community, through experiences, tips and tricks they’ve come across over their years perfecting their craft, or just being a supportive person willing to be another’s cheerleader. And these are only just some of the examples of ways unpublished writers/authors should garner respect from society. Unpublished writers come from a different viewpoint than published writers. That’s important. Diversity in the writing community is always welcome, and I know from all of the interactions between writers I see online through social media, this diversity is requested. People want to know others experiences with issues they’re facing. To answer these questions, you don’t have necessarily be a published author.

One day, I hope we all live in a world where a distinction doesn’t lie between being called a writer and an author, and one is looked upon in a lesser manner. Until then, everyone in the writing community, and anyone else for that matter, can do whatever is in their power to stop the negative stigma surrounding being an unpublished “writer”. Celebrate writers and authors alike, use the words interchangeably, spread the word that unpublished people are authors too.

And as per usual, keep writing, everyone!

Until next time.