Community and your writer’s toolkit
One thing I’ve learned is that community is one of the biggest assets available. It’s community that pulls you through, holds you up, and keeps encouraging you to persist. Writing is a solitary craft, and sometimes writers need more than the fictional voices in our heads to help us succeed. While community isn’t for everyone, I’ve certainly seen it true for most. There are many ways of being part of a community too.
I’m a Melbourne-based author and I write in several genres with my nonfiction covering topics from hauntings to spelling to sport, and my fiction either literary or speculative. But the horror writing community is the one I have been most connected with since I started my writing journey, and it is for them I hold the greatest soft spot.
In 2012, I commenced studying writing and editing, and as a part of my course, I was given a yearly membership to Writers Victoria, the state writers’ organisation. This was the beginning of writerly me being part of something bigger than myself. Around this time I also joined the Australasian Horror Writers Association (AHWA), and since then I’ve joined more organisations, subscribed to newsletters, Patreons, and volunteered as well. I do this for two reasons: to keep informed and to pay it forward.
This article is about what I’ve learned about community and what resources I’ve come to use or rely on as a horror writer. It’s an article for aspiring authors as well as a checklist for established ones.