I am excited to announce the release of my first novel, Above Ground. As part of a blog tour celebrating the release, I’m stopping by the #amwriting blog today to let you all know how much this community means to me.
That was the first — and oddest — question I ever asked the #amwriting community.
Even odder? How many people replied.
It is not an understatement to say that without online communities such as #amwriting, my recently released novel Above Ground wouldn’t exist. This is not only because I would have had to spend countless hours researching snake excrement, but also because I wouldn’t have had the motivation to finish.
Peer pressure helps me write more.
When I get distracted by cute hamster videos on YouTube, a quick Twitter search for #amwriting gets me back on track. Seeing other authors tweet about daily word counts and writing targets reminds me that watching YouTube isn’t going to help me finish my novel.
Knowledge helps me write faster.
I have little excuse to click through countless Wikipedia pages when the answer to any question is within a Tweet’s reach. I’ve asked about snake poo, bombs, and zombies; I’ve asked for synonyms; I’ve even asked for words in foreign languages.
Sometimes a question doesn’t have a right answer, but I can still count on #amwriting to help. With Above Ground, I had a doubt over how the main character would describe mountains, given that she’s lived underground her entire life. A brief #amwriting discussion followed, and I was happily writing away.
Support helps me write better.
Where else can I share my triumphs, my sorrows, my fears? My loved ones know how much my writing means to me, but they’re hardly going to high-five me if I write 5k in an evening… or truly understand how much writer’s block depresses me.
But #amwriting is so much more than that.
What has made me stick to the #amwriting hashtag over any other is that it is more than a hashtag; it is a community. It is
I have to be alone to write. I cannot stand interruptions or noises (apparently I turn into some kind of Incredible Writing Hulk if spoken to mid-scene). But the moment my will starts failing, the moment I stumble across a question or a problem or a insurmountable plot hole, I know that I can turn to Twitter and ask for help.
I know that, if I need a little boost, I can drop into the chat to see what others are writing, and maybe even offer a few words of wisdom of my own. It’s my own not-so-little writer’s circle, and being part of something bigger than myself is a thrill in itself.
There is no doubt in my mind that without #amwriting — and other online communities such as the #webfiction and #fridayflash crew — I wouldn’t have published Above Ground, which is why I am delighted to be stopping here today.
What about you? What hashtags do you love?
From November 1st to 30th, I am running a blog tour to celebrate the release of Above Ground. I am also running an exciting mystery raffle alongside the tour – enter to win here! For more information about the tour, the book, and a full list of stops, visit amharte.com.