While my previous post on this topic made clear that community is an important part of writing, there are some times this isn’t true. One of these times is when members of your community bring you down, or constantly talk about failure as a writer.
Often on my timeline, I see writers talking about how they need help with a scene, worry about their book being garbage, or pulling out hair over a sudden major plot hole. This is all normal writerly worries, and we can all relate.
What I’m referring to is this: people who constantly post about how they are leaving the community for good over and over again. People who threaten to take down their books, delete their accounts, or stop writing altogether because they’re so threatened.
These people will drag your writing down. They’ll make you feel guilty for wanting to continue because it, apparently, isn’t worth it. They’ll draw your attention to themselves time and time again, taking you away from your writing and bringing you to ask them to stay over and over.
If they haven’t left by now, will they ever leave?
If they stay, do they deserve that much coddling?
These are both questions I can’t answer, and neither can they. So my point is this: if you give them your undying attention, over and over again, trying to convince them to keep writing, then you’re not writing. You’re not being productive. And they are getting affirmation that they get attention for threatening to quit.
Helping them will make them want to threaten again.
So, leave them alone. Go and write. Fellowship with supportive, encouraging writers who question writing sometimes, but not enough to make a bad habit out of it.
Be a writer, first and foremost. Then, you can really make a difference.