Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Indie Life: Don't Go It Alone

It's time for this month's Indie Life post, a monthly feature run by the awesome writers over at the Indelibles blog. Every second Wednesday of the month those taking part will post something related to indie life, such the highs, lows, triumphs, struggles, and milestones of going it alone in the publishing world.

Today I'm talking about how no writer should go it alone, but first I'll start with a Stephen King quote that has always inspired me:

"Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open."

While King is referring to rewriting with the reader in mind, I also like to apply his quote to the writing life. When we write the first few drafts we are alone. Nobody sits beside us, unless we co-write with another author. The creative process of putting words to paper is something only we can do. 

I love being lost in an imaginary world, directing my characters (when they let me). What I love more is the stages that follow, the re-drafting and editing. It's during those stages that I not only think of the reader as King recommends, but also seek the advice of both my writing friends and editor. I never go through those later stages alone.

Some writers have critique partners or a trusted friend who will give constructive feedback. Some rely on an editor. But putting the creative and technical advice aside, there is also another important aspect to leaving the door open when we rewrite - an invaluable source of support and motivation. 

How many of you have come close to giving up your writing dreams and were persuaded otherwise by your family and friends? How many thought the road to success was impossible until your fellow writers kicked you up the backside? If there's one thing I've learnt in the last three years, it's that nowhere is there more generosity and support than in the writing world. I've been truly humbled by the encouragement I've received, and I hope I'm also doing my part to help others. So my advice to all writers, new or old, is don't go it alone.

I'll end this month's Indie Life post with a rather fitting Stephen King quote:

"Alone. Yes, that's the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn't hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym."

That's it for this week. Don't forget Taking Time and Other Science Fiction Stories is published next Monday!


  1. I don't go it alone. I have test readers, critique partners, and my publisher's editor. Plus a whole army of encouragers.

  2. Have I ever come close to giving up my writing dream? Only, like, most days. Everything you say is true - without my family to offer encouragement and support I most likely would have given up.

  3. This is so true - and I love the Stephen King quotes!

  4. Here, here. Other writers are awesome! I couldn't do it without them!

    Thanks for participating!

  5. Such great quotes. Other writers are so incredible. I love how supportive and encouraging, and even at time hard nosed, when they need to be. Such a great community.

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  7. What a great quote, but I'm glad you explained it because it was lost on me.

  8. Hi Ellie .. it can't be a complete 'alone' job - and we all need encouragement of sorts ... my recent posts about Harry Potter - have brought to light a few bloggers who said JKR/HP had inspired them to write again, or helped their children ..

    Good luck with your coming book - Monday is getting nearer .. Cheers Hilary


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