A year ago, I decided to become more heavily involved in Twitter. I had distanced myself a bit for various reasons, but an agent at a writing conference convinced me that it was an easy way to network with authors and industry insiders. My Twitter started to feel very divided – most of the people I followed were either Pagans or writers. I could count those who straddled that divide on one hand.
I needed to learn how to use Twitter to my benefit as a writer, and that meant finally making a pact with the hastag spirits. The more I connected with writers and utilized hashtags, the more I started doing the same with my Instagram. I participated in photo and writing challenges. Some of them, as with last year’s Plant Spirit Ally challenge through Hagstone Publishing, tapped into both streams. With the advent of the Stone, Root, and Bone ezine, I had a revelation. Just as I discovered I felt at home writing within the magical realism genre, I was also writing in the subgenre of what many are starting to refer to as witch lit*.
As I’ve learned to work with hashtags to improve my reach within the writing community, I started to similarly tag my posts about Druidry, general Paganism, polytheism, animism, and, you guessed it, witch lit. Others who follow me on social media started to reach out or connect me to others seeking input and guidance from Pagan writers. I noticed a repeating experience. Every so often, I connect with a fellow writer on Twitter or Instagram, and we realize that we’re both Pagan! There’s often elation! “I’m so happy to find others like me in the writing community!” we squeal through our keyboards. I largely credit these auspicious introductions to hashtags and old fashioned networking reworked in the form of friends tagging me.
Now, not all Pagan fiction writers are writing witch lit. Some are working within other genres, and some aren’t portraying Pagans or realistic folk magic at all. That particular hash tag will only get you so far, and you shouldn’t use it if it’s not accurate to your wants or needs. However, if you are seeking Pagans within the writing community, don’t forget to use such tags as #paganwriter or #paganauthor. It may be even more prudent to use the far more useful #writer or #writingcommunity tags, and then include #pagan, #druidry, #witch, etc. You’d be amazed at how my own circle of fellow Pagan writers has grown in just a year**!
Whether you’re physically part of a magical group or a solitary practitioner, most of us thrive with some form of online community. We enjoy chatting with others of similar mind about our full moon plans, gushing over plants, recommending books, or just venting about how Hollywood doesn’t get us. Pagan writers need the same supportive circle to compare notes, find beta readers who already speak the language of Paganism, and network with potential industry insiders who walk the same path. Not only are they fellow writers, but you’re all a community of potential readers who can support you with constructive criticism and reviews. As with the general writing community, make sure you return the favor! Reciprocity isn’t just for Pagan rituals! Give back to the community, and you’ll be part of a thriving garden of talent!
*I definitely need to write my own entry about witch lit one of these days…
** I was using #paganliterature for some time, and you may want to as well, but #witchlit is more recognized now. Most of my characters are contemporary Druids, but I think the genre and tag still fit, and it will reach a wider audience.