Writing is like riding a roller coaster. There are times when I'm all alone, typing away on my keyboard as I make the long, slow climb to the top of the ride. I don't hear the screams of the other passengers until I hit the publish button and the roller coaster accelerates on the downhill portion of the ride. Over the years, writing modes transformed from the rickety coasters from yesteryear made out of lumber to cyber-space thrillers. The reader demands more or they drop out of the community. That's the fear of a writer -- that there's no community. No screams. Nothing but a lone writer at the end of the ride. If you are looking for some ideas to expand your community, try these pointers:
- Be a contributor. Find something of value you have to offer others and give it to them. You have unique experiences to share that can inspire others. The more you give, the more your community will appreciate you.
- Let the other members of your group know what they can expect from you. I'm a little bit over the top, blogging seven days a week at 8:08 AM, Pacific Time and sharing a new chapter every Friday at the Cyber-bistro I created to publish my e-serial novel. That's because this is my passion and I can't imagine leaving the roller coaster, even for one day. You don't have to be like that. Just make sure your community knows what you're going to do and when you're going to do it.
- Do something you love. Ask yourself, how will I feel if I stop? Will anyone from the community miss me? Remember, if you're not having fun on the roller coaster ride, how do you expect anyone else to join you?
- Experiment. You are unique. No one on the planet has the same gifts you possess. Here's what Pablo Picasso shared about his upbringing...“When I was a child my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk, you'll be the pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.” What will you become when you concentrate on being yourself instead of an imitation of someone else?
- Don't worry about how many people are on the ride. It's never about how many twitter followers you have or how many people read your blog -- it's all about you giving your best every day without throwing in the towel. If I can inspire one person to do something special with his or her life, that is enough for me and I'm willing to invest my time every day to make my roller coaster ride better than it was the day before.