The IU Crew

A classy posse

A classy posseWho is in your crew? Who’s in your corner? I’m about to share with you one of the most important things I have ever learned about writing. You need a gang. You need a crew. You need people you can bounce ideas off of. You need people you can vent to. You need to have a group of people who’ve got your six. Why? There are lots of reasons, but the biggest one is that riffing with creative people makes you more creative.

For a long, long time I eschewed this basic common sense rule. I was a lone wolf. Or a misanthropic, OCD alcoholic. Take your pick. I associated with other musicians. I didn’t talk to other writers. I didn’t know any other writers. And I didn’t care. Hell, that’s the way I thought it should be. Arturo Bandini holed up in a room somewhere. I didn’t want people ‘influencing my voice’. I was an idiot.

There are days when you write a ton and it is easy and fun. There are days when it is like hammering a nail into your eyeball getting those words on the page. There are days when you just don’t feel like writing at all. You need people who you can gloat, whine, and freak out to. You need people to congratulate you. You need people to kick you in the ass when you need a good kick in the ass.

I’m lucky to roll with the IU crew. Talented writers, funny, good folks. It all started when I joined Facebook. I swear, FB is the greatest thing that ever happened to writers. Sure, it can be a huge time suck, but it is also a lifeline. Before I started writing for IU, Kat and Antrobus and I were dumping on each other and building each other up every day. We had some of the funniest ‘conversations’ I have ever had in my life. They helped me out if I was jammed up in a story. I tried to do the same.

But I don’t usually get jammed. Writing is not my problem. What is a problem is that my wife is not a writer. None of my friends (who aren’t killing themselves) are writers. And I can tell my wife that I am stuck on a character – that I can’t get through to him, but she has no idea what the hell I’m talking about. She tries. It’s not her fault. It’s like when my friend who is an electrician bitches to me about work. I nod and smile, but I have no idea what the hell he’s talking about.

Writers know. Hell, I can hit my crew up on Facebook and sometimes I don’t even have to tell them what’s wrong. They know me. They know when something is up. They are perceptive because writers may be assholes, but we’re pretty perceptive.

Writing is the most rewarding battle I fight. I fought it alone for a long, long time and it was lonely and frustrating. Now, I have back up. Now, I am not alone. If you don’t have a posse of writers you can turn to, you should rectify that situation. We push each other’s work and that’s all well and good. But we’re there for each other. And you can’t put a price on that. And we keep the juices flowing.  And that is everything.

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JD Mader is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited and author of the novels JOE CAFÉ and THE BIKER. For more information, please see the IU Bio page and his (and musical nonsense here: JD Mader).


Author: JD Mader

JD Mader is an award winning short story writer and novelist. 'Joe Café' and 'The Biker' are out now, as well as 'Please, no eyes'. and the collaborative 'Bad Book'. Mader has been writing for half his life and has no plans on stopping any time soon. Learn more about JD Mader at his blog and his Amazon author page.

30 thoughts on “The IU Crew”

  1. I know exactly what you mean, Dan. When you're as gorgeous and glamorous and flawlessly perfect as me, you just have to, dahhhhling, just have to have beautiful people around you.

  2. Hell yeah. My hubster reads technical manuals for fun and little else. Writerly stuff does not compute. He doesn't even humor me with the vacant smile/nod anymore. My family never acknowledges that I even write. Add to that my current agoraphobic state and yeah – without my ever-growing internet writer posse, I'd probably be drooling alone in some dark corner of my mind right now.

  3. Dan you are indeed "the man" & I couldn't agree with you more. I wouldn't have thought about writing if a few wonderful people hadn't made it seem so scary and shone a light on the path. Luckily, I still have them to ask questions of, and laugh with and annoy the heck out of…(don't end sentences with prepositions is the first rule they tried to teach me). Glowy post my friend.

  4. I totally get that! I'm lucky – hubby's not a writer, but he IS a gamer, which is really useful for developing characters and overarching plot lines *grin*

    I've got a group of girls I read too, as well. They help me with continuity and other nitty gritty details. Yay my group!


  5. Only just realised how lucky I am too. My other half refuses point blank to read anything I write (unless it's a website he's selling) in case he hates it. But my son is a playwright. Totally different genres but we beta, proof, copy edit and opine on each other's stuff and I love that the respect and appreciation of criticism go both ways.

  6. Yes, the couple of times I have mentioned to any of my family that there are voices in my head all the time and they make random conversations in the bathroom mirror, the awkward silence has said that such conversations are better had elsewhere. So glad to stumble upon you all.

  7. Bless my darling husband, he doesn't read fiction, and when he does it's slowly, but he has tried to read my books. *laughing* And edits as he goes. It took a while, though. Out of my entire family, he's the only one who even asks about my writing. (That's dangerous I'll admit)He even put a cat door in the door of my writing room so the cats can visit when they want.

  8. "I was a lone wolf. Or a misanthropic, OCD alcoholic."

    Dan, did you have to rub it in?

    But yeah, word. It's crucial. Long term, probably essential.

    Dedicate this to my online crew:

  9. Finally, a few minutes to read non-AtoZ blogs…this was great. I have made a few writing friends online (FB, this site & Twitter) but most are far more advanced in the writing game than I. I look forward to the day when I feel that I can bounce things off them, in the meantime, I read & review for them and love every minute.

    Hubby? He's a retired Firefighter/Paramedic – great fodder for writing. 😉

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