Friday, March 1, 2019

Finding Your Writing Community-Soothing the Solitude of the Writing Life

Writing a book--writing anything--is by necessity a solitary practice.  We are by ourselves with our words at first, generating them in a conversation between laptop and hands on keyboard, or pen and notepad.  It's not a bad thing.  I actually love the process of being in the worlds of my books, and I crave the solitude to immerse myself.  

But every now and then, it helps to have community.  Community is essential for feedback, when you get to the point of needing it, but it's also very helpful for support.

Support to keep writing.
Support when those doubts hit hard.
Support when you're trying something new and want to run an idea by a fellow writer.
Support to know you're not crazy.

I love my writing group and my writing partner, who fulfill much of this need for me.  But what if you have neither?  You live far from any writers groups, you don't want to take classes to meet other writers.  You can pay a coach or private teacher, but that costs money.  How do you get free or low-cost community you can use and rely on, as you create your book?  

One virtual community, Write Together, was recommended in Jane Friedman's e-newsletter.  Jane's such a good resource, I immediately checked it out.  It costs, but very little, and it's still small, which is a relief to some of us.  More intimate, more like a real writer's group.  Write Together provides accountability--every day writing and check in's by midnight--and that community to share progress or lack of.  

Another online writing community is Scribophile, an international group that's growing fast.  Scribophile has a credit system, where the more feedback you give other writers in the group, the more points you earn towards getting feedback yourself.  It's primarily, in my opinion, for feedback, less for sharing progress notes and accountability.

And if those don't tickle your interest or need, check out this comprehensive list from NY Book Editors on the ten best online writing communities to join and why.

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