Thursday, March 7, 2013

Raising Your Career: Make a Village

Way before I had children, Hillary Clinton made this idea famous: "It takes a village to raise a child."

At the time I didn't pay much attention. Like I said, I didn't have kids, and I wasn't planning to have any for a while. Now that I'm a mom, I think about it a lot.
A fairy village

Basically, it means one person can't do it alone. We need a network of helpers, supporters, to do a big, complicated job like rearing a baby into healthy, productive adulthood. 

Everyone they encounter can either help them or hurt them, so you want to increase the number of helpers. Right? 

It's the same with our writing careers--particularly for independent authors. Actually, from my experience with traditional publishing, you need it in that realm, too.

When I started writing my very first book in 2009, I was alone. I didn't tell anybody what I was doing, I wasn't really sure what I was doing, I was just doing it. And for a while that was okay. My newborn infant didn't need much beyond me.

But once I'd typed "The End," and I decided I was going to seek publication, I needed help. I went to the library, got the giant Writer's Digest guide to literary agents and wrote my first (really awful) query letter. Then I went online. And then I discovered Janet Reid's helpful blog, and then I started blogging myself.

In the years that followed, a group of us formed a loose village of blogging writers. In 2011, several of those writers self-published their first books and formed the group The Indelibles (link)

I wasn't a member. They were indies, and I was still firmly traditional. I had an agent, I was seeking a contract. Self-publishing was still the stepchild.

On Amazon
Last September, I hit "publish" on my first indie title, The Truth About Faking (link). That's when I realized just how much I needed my village. I had so many questions, I had no idea just how many options there were, how many details...

Luckily, I was still friends with those Indelible writers, and they invited me to join that group. In January, Nazarea Andrews (link) wanted to form this group and asked if I'd participate. I said sure!

As I recently lamented on my own blog (link), writing is a lonely endeavor, especially if you do it full time. It's also a job most people don't understand unless they do it, too.

Add to that all the challenges, discoveries, tricks and trends of independent publishing, and it can feel overwhelming.

So if you're feeling down, consider linking up! Maybe you don't like to blog, maybe you're more comfortable on Twitter. Maybe you're more into Facebook. Facebook groups actually makes it even easier to form a village.

Find some folks you share an interest with, people you can trust, and get connected! Hang in there, and keep swimming, writer-friends. Independent publishing is a "long tail" endeavor (link), and it's better to reach the finish line with friends.

Happy writing~

On Amazon
Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a former freelance editor, a former journalist, a caffeine addict, a chocoholic, a beach bum, a lover of any great love story, and occasionally she sleeps.

THE TRUTH ABOUT FAKING (link) is her debut young adult romance.
-ROUGE (link) is her mature-YA/new adult romantic suspense novel.
-THE TRUTH ABOUT LETTING GO (link) is her newest book available now!

Leigh loves hearing from readers; stop by and say hello:

Blog * Facebook * Amazon Author page * Goodreads


  1. This topic is something I think about all the time, Leigh. I have a fabulous team of people that have made a huge impact on my life and my book. :)

    1. That's awesome, Laura! You need that in the good times, and you need the support when you're feeling tired or discouraged. You'll do great. Glad to know ya~ :o) <3

  2. I know I would have floundered and not been nearly as consistent if I'd been writing into a vacuum. It helps a TON. And while I'm not ready yet for the indie leap, if I do, I totally see how that need for others magnifies exponentially.

    1. And I've been SO lucky/happy to have YOU on my team (in my little village) from almost the beginning. You'll have the support you need when you need it, TH! no worries~ :o) <3

  3. I started in 2009 too! The more fellow writers friends we have, the more it helps. :D Great post, Leigh!

    1. Thanks, Jessica! I couldn't agree more about the friends~ :o) <3

  4. Yes. Yes to everything you said, yes! Awesome article on writerly friendship Leigh!