Writing is a solitary activity, but as writers we were never meant to be alone.
It’s easy to get maudlin when you’re mired in rejection hell. I know the temptation well. But instead of falling prey to it, I decided to hustle and write more fiction and used social media to make myself accountable. That’s how the #6in6 group (with a god-awful official name of no less than ten words including ‘magic’ and ‘puppies’) began.
Looking back, I have no idea why I chose to publicly declare I would write six stories in six weeks. Who knows? All I know is that there was something in it because within hours other writers were commenting and committing to the same challenge on my Facebook status.
Fellow Brisbane-based spec-fic author, Ben Payne, summonsed his inner admin genie and convened a closed Facebook group. It was all set up before we went to bed on the Friday night.
And they came.
As I write this, the group has 26 members. We are poets, scriptwriters, short story writers, novelists and academics. We are international in our representation. At any hour of the day it is possible to find someone in the group to write alongside or talk/bitch/moan with. Each of us comes with our own aspirations and demons. We are honest in our struggles; genuine in our support. We swap markets, ideas, brainstorming sessions, beta reads, reflections on the highs and lows of the writer’s life, and writing extracts—often hot off the press!
This is community at its best.
The overall opinion is words might have been put down without the challenge, but the group has ensured they were. And more words are on their way as we race toward the end of July and the conclusion of the challenge.
I have no idea what will happen then. While I have some sneaky suspicions about the future, it’s not for me to say. I’m just one twenty-sixth of a group lashing words together in a sea of possibility.
Image by Emdot via Flickr used under a Creative Commons License
This post was updated on 22nd July.