Writers are often told to develop a writing community. It’s certainly crucial to find fellow writers with whom you share a sense of trust, camaraderie, and accountability, but I’d like to advocate for developing your non-writing communities as well. Call an old friend, commit time to a grassroots organization, or pick up groceries for your neighbors. Becoming part of something larger than yourself and intentionally creating time away from your writing makes your relationship to your work more sustainable and, I think, more joyful. Immersing yourself in other passions and communities also reminds you that you’re much more than the work you produce—you’re a friend, a neighbor, a loved one. You have more to offer than your words, and when you’re secure in that truth, you may find yourself more eager than ever to return to the page.
And to the writers of color reading this: Know that the world needs your fiercest, most uncompromising work. Every writer faces rejection, but odds are you have been told in another context—perhaps by a prospective employer, in academia, or in the performance world—that you or your work are simply “not the right fit” or, worse, redundant. That pass letter can hurt in an exquisitely familiar way. Don’t subdue your writing to make agents more comfortable. Don’t abandon what makes your work recognizably your own. The right advocate will ask questions that sharpen your project in a way that never compromises its integrity.
—Iwalani Kim of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates