27 March 2013

Forging Relationships With Other Writers


by Kelly DeBie

For as much as writing is a solitary activity, requiring us to dig deep within ourselves and tap our inner resources, I’ve found that in many ways it is also a community.

A strange and beautiful community.

That community is the reason that I’m writing here today, at the urging and recommendation of Molly Field, a fellow writer that I’ve never met in person but seem to have more in common with than most people I’ve ever known in real life.

In the past year, I’ve reached out to other writers more.  Many writers have reached out to me.  The nature of blogging is, at it’s core, social.  Blogging is a platform for me to write, usually daily, and immediately share that writing with the world.

Due to the nature of the medium, it seems almost mandatory that a blogger utilize social networking sites.  It’s through these sites that I’ve established, fostered and grown the relationships that I now hold dear.  Those relationships are with the writers I now consider my kindred spirits.

These connections, the ones that often leave me nodding my head in agreement, are ones that I cherish more than I can say.  We aren’t just writers, we often share similar journeys in life.  We’ve known heartache and turmoil.  We have a depth of character and a level of experience that often seems unique to this tight-knit world.

We understand each other in a way that most people don’t.

I know that I’ve made some connections in this past year that have changed my writing.  Tested my abilities.  Pushed my limits, both in terms of subject matter and personal investment.  These friends have encouraged me to try new things, to take risks, to hold myself accountable when I set goals.  

They understand more than anyone how emotionally draining the act of writing can be, and at the same time realize that the therapeutic value of doing so often surpasses the pain.

They see the inherent value in vulnerability.  In revealing the things that we hold closest.

Often, I find myself running things by them before I’ll hit that *publish* button, partially to affirm that I’m doing this all for the right reasons, partially for the moral support, but most often to confirm that I’m not the only one floating around in the ocean of life with this experience.

When it comes to the actual writing, it’s me and my keyboard pounding it out.

Knowing that there are other people out there, typing away in the confines of their isolated worlds, yet wanting to be understood, is what keeps me going.

To my fellow writers, thank you.


  1. I wouldn't be writing here if it wasn't for Twitter, and nearly all of my writing contacts are those I've met online. I don't know many writers in real life but social media means I can bounce ideas off someone in Philadelphia while sharing a story with someone in South Africa. It's brilliant!

    1. I've come to the conclusion that while I like seeing writing groups in person, I assemble a much greater group of talent around me if I can do it online.

      But, I need both.

  2. Molly is awesome. Thank you Molly. I loved this one. Very inspiring.

    1. Molly tries.

      Kelly, you know you're amazing and the way we met is the way we will always know one another in flesh or not. I enjoy your friendship so much and I value your writings. I feel safe with you and as you know, that is big.

    2. Right back at you, my friend.

  3. Kelly is really good at community building. She has a natural talent for it. She is generous with her time and so kind to people. She's been incredibly supportive of me! I think it is hard to grow in a vacuum so a strong community is essential.

    P.S. There isn't a byline on this post.

  4. As I continue to struggle with the necessary evil of working a 40 hour job and the blessing of sharing my time with my wife and son, I absolutely need the community of writers that I'm slowly building online to remind me that I AM a part of this group, even if my production isn't nearly on your levels. These connections are why I can continue to believe in my goals and fight my way through doubt to keep being a writer, so I add my thanks to the list as well.

    1. I have found myself leaning on my connections a lot, especially when the doubt creeps in. Love the online community!

  5. Kel, you are a gift and you give yourself to the world, all 7 billion of us.

  6. True say, Kelly, true say. For the isolated and introverted nature of our work, we're still human and need some degree of connection with each other. It's a safe space for us to have groups or a group of men and women who *get it*. Thanks for posting this!

    1. We very much need each other! :) Thank you!

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