Whenever I attend conferences/workshops, I often hear panelists talk about paving a path to writing success. Those tips center on the tried, true, and tested: Write consistently, attend classes/workshops on the craft, follow agents/agencies/publishers for submission call outs, create an online presence¦sometimes, though not as often, they’ll mention joining writing groups as a way to learn about opportunities in the industry and build your skills as a writer/proofreader.

All of this is valid and solid advice, but the part that panelists sometimes miss out on”with the writing groups”is that they are a source of inspiration and comfort. Your writing siblings can be your biggest cheerleaders, gut checkers, lifter-uppers¦this industry has a 1% chance of success (whereby a writer breaks in and gets a contract and/or agent).

For many of us, it’s a long, rough, uphill road, Hydrate, bring snacks, and bring along the people who will offer the shade when the sun is hot, water with the well is dry, and laughter when the days are tough.