February 20, 2023
Most people think of writing as a solo craft where authors lock themselves away in a quiet space, pounding furiously at their keyboards to crank out their next book in solitude. And while this picture of a writer might be true at some point for all writers, the truth is that many authors actually have a network of supportive peers to lean on for advice and inspiration called a writing community.
If you are an author without a support system to lean on, finding the right writing community might be just what you need to help you grow in your craft. And being a part of a writing community can help you reach your writing goals faster and more confidently so you can finish the novel you’ve been thinking about writing for years.
A writing community is an organization that may encompass both formal or informal groups of writers who help and support each other. A writing community may take place in person, as a virtual group, or exist completely online, and the amount of interaction and support each provides will vary depending on the type of group as well as your own participation in the writing community.
More formal groups may provide a program to follow with dates or timelines for working on a project that coincides with measured support and guidance to help you reach your goals. But other groups are more like a sounding board for authors to ask and answer questions as well as connect with other writers when it is convenient to do so.
Many authors join a writing community that offers a combination of formal and informal, picking and choosing which elements they want to participate in and blending that with their own ability to help others while still working on their own projects.
But all writing communities exist for the same reason: to provide a group of like-minded people that will encourage and help other writers while also enjoying the benefits of that same support system.
It’s easy to see how an inexperienced writer could benefit from being part of a group. Communities are developed to provide guidance and support to writers who are relatively new to the craft, but even published authors with years of experience can benefit from being a part of a writing community.
A solo craft like writing makes hitting your own personal goals easy to hide from others outside of the profession. Who would know if you don’t write those 500 words a day that you decided was the perfect goal to help you finish your book? No one would know unless it meant that eventually, you weren’t able to finish and send your final manuscript to the printer.
But authors who participate in a writing community can help each other keep up their writing goals by providing accountability to those in the group. Whether your group provides a timeline to help you keep writing or you all write a similar amount each day or week or even if your writing community simply offers you a place to talk to others about how you keep writing even when you don’t feel like it, the accountability a writing community gives writers can be just the nudge many writers need to stay on track.
A solo craft like writing doesn’t give authors a built-in way to learn from more experienced authors in the same way that other careers do. Writers can’t just stop by the office of a published author to ask a quick question or attend a professional development session at their company created to answer writing questions they may have, so how do writers learn more about their craft?
Writing communities offer the opportunity for experienced writers to teach those newer to the craft while some groups even offer the chance to learn in a more formal setting with structured learning opportunities with interactive sessions, Q & As, and information banks accessible to members of the group.
When you experience writer’s block or just can’t come up with a plot twist that will solve your story’s stalemate, talking to someone who has been there, done that, can really help.
Having a community of writers who can commiserate with your struggles as well as give you words of encouragement to figure out how to take the next step forward can be just what you need to stay the course on your writing project.
Meeting and networking with other authors is one of the strongest reasons to join a writing community. Writing groups provide the opportunity to connect with writers of every experience level.
But they also provide a platform to help you find other authors who share your same affinity for sci-fi horror short stories or another group of writers who have self-published a complete series of books just like you hope to one day.
Networking with writers who focus on the same genre or niche will give you a resource to talk about common concerns and questions as well as build relationships that may help you both in the future as you navigate being published authors in the same corner of the literary world.
Sometimes being a writer is just hard so being part of a writing community can give you the chance to vent about your challenges and feel the emotional support of others who understand what you are going through.
Having peers that know what it feels like to learn a new formatting software, struggle with writer’s block or design a winning book cover can be just what you need to find the motivation to keep going.
And authors often find that they can build meaningful friendships through these shared experiences that sustain them through the inevitable ups and downs that come with being a writer.
If being a part of a community of writers sounds appealing, to find yours you first need to determine what you want out of it. Some organizations provide steps and encouragement to write every day while other groups provide a discussion-based group so members can ask questions and find support. Choosing a group that fits your expectations will help you get the most out of the organization.
Camp NaNoWriMo: This unique writer’s community is the brainchild of the non-profit group National Novel Writing Month, and the camp runs every April and July. Writers join together to meet their own writing goals along with other writers while benefitting from encouragement, educational opportunities, and participation in smaller writer’s groups as everyone cheers each other on to meet their goals.
Usually, forums have simple search functions that allow you to find the content you are looking for and also may host live discussions or other events that may be of interest to writers of all different types and abilities.
Reddit contains hundreds of subreddit forums with content and community opportunities for just about every genre and writing style imaginable.
Online Sites: Writers Helping Writers provides a comprehensive toolbox of support for writers of every level and experience. For women who are seeking a community of female creators, SheWrites is a great place to meet other successful writers and learn a lot about the craft.
For authors who want to give and get feedback on current projects, join Scribophile to get started. Authors seeking encouragement might find a supportive home in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group community and sci-fi and fantasy writers can connect with others who share their passion at Chronicles.
Social Media: From Facebook groups like Writing Tips for Writers to using social media hashtags like Twitter’s #writerscommunity, writers can find formal and informal connections with other writers across most platforms.
Authors can ask questions and interact with other writers and even narrow down their focus by genre or another niche or focus to make the most of online social media communities.
Writing Conventions: Most states or countries host live events for writers to come together and learn more about their craft alongside other writers and others in the publishing and printing industries.
These multi-day events offer chances for writers to connect with each other as well as attend sessions together to learn about different aspects of writing of interest to writers of all abilities.
Once you find the right one, these writing communities can help you reach the finish line with confidence. And when your project is ready to print, Publishing Xpress is the right choice for self-publishing authors who want to make sure that the final printed copy of their book will look fantastic.
Publishing Xpress can even assist you in creating a stunning cover design to help you attract the right readers to your book. And once you have added Published Author to your bio, don’t forget to reach out to other aspiring writers in your community with advice on how you were able to reach this milestone in your own writing career.
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