Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Why a Writer Needs Relationships

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Writers spend hours perfecting their manuscripts. The time, sweat, and tears that go into a remarkable writing project can’t be measured because our ability to create is always working in us. We live and breathe the words filling our mind and transfer them onto the page.

Some say writing is an isolated profession, and the process appears solitary until we consider what all we need to be successful. 

7 reasons writing is a “we” project and not an “I” endeavor.

1. Cheerleaders
A writer may dream of putting words on paper. Even forge ahead in secret. But she may never reveal her desire and passion for writerly expression because of the fear of rejection. Maybe you are one of those writers who has deleted work for fear of rejection.

We all need cheerleader relationships, the person or persons whom we trust to share our hearts. A cheerleader encourages and gives us pep-talks that spur us on and keep us accountable. Look around for a family member or friend who loves you unconditionally to fill this critical role.

2. Critique Partners
We need other eyes to examine our work to see what we’ve missed to perfect the project. Finding the right critique group involves attending a few meetings and listening to what is being said. Some critique groups meet online, and others prefer face-to-face. Are the members respectful, courteous, offer suggestions that enhance the writing? Do they balance their comments in what is good and what might be an improvement? Be prepared to reciprocate with the same feedback. 

And remember dear writer, a critique partner is not your mom who loves you no matter what you write.

3. Editors
Determined writers seek editor relationships. Our writing projects need polishing. The manuscript may have gone through the test of critiques, and you may believe it’s ready to submit to an agent or publishing house but pause before hitting Send. We want to offer our best, which often means reaching out to an editor for professional feedback. Understand anyone can claim to be an editor, even slap it onto a website, so beware. A savvy writer looks for recommendations and investigates writers who have hired a good editor in the past. Most editors specialize in content, grammar, line, and/or substantive edits. Spend time with the potential person to see if this is the right fit for you. Examine the costs to ensure you’re receiving the quality you deserve.

4. Agent
An agent is a valuable asset for any writer who is interested in working with a traditional publishing house. This is another opportunity for the writer to request recommendations, interview the potential agent, and decide if the agent is a good fit. An author/agent relationship is one of the most powerful tools in the publishing industry.

5. Marketing and Promotion Experts
Launching a book successfully means the writer needs experts to advise on the best means to brand, market, and promote the book. 

For a traditionally published book, marketing and promotion experts are usually in-house. These relationships are an opportunity for all to work together to prevent overlapping.

If a book is being independently published, seek professionals in this field to enhance the best process to introduce your project to the world.

6. Dream Team
I refer to my street team as a Dream Team. These wonderful people are my year around friends. My suggestion is to touch base with your team weekly online in the way of an email. When book launch time approaches, a quality Dream Team assists the writing by promoting a book in his/her community of influence. To assist this team to be the most effective, the writer creates Facebook posts, Tweets, memes, book reviews, book cover—whatever is needed. Many writers offer contests or random drawings as perks for their team.

7. Readers
Writers create for their readers. We want to present them with quality fiction or nonfiction that meets their expectations. Through social media, we are able to establish lasting relationships. Let your readers know they are appreciated.

In summary, writers who understand the value of developing relationships that are personal and professional will reach their goals. What are ways you have maintained a relationships within your writing spectrum?


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian Fiction books of 2014.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Suspense Sister, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson. She teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook:, Twitter: or any of the social media platforms listed at


  1. Nicely explained the topic
    keep up the good work

  2. As always, great counsel Ms. DiAnn. Here's a thought for your next novel; "Someone always has you in their sights... just waiting for clearance..." God's blessings ma'am.

  3. So much goes into writing. It can be a daunting endeavor, and relationships are more important in the writing world than people would ever imagine.