Are you doing the writing life alone? I did for a long time as I didn’t know where to turn. And I was afraid of confessing to being a writer because I was sure I wasn’t good enough. Most of us aren’t at first. But connecting with other writers has been the best thing I’ve ever done for my writing.
Why to connect
Writing is hard, lonely, discouraging. Other writers will “get you” more than most people. They can become your team, your support group, your naggers if necessary. I like this quote from Michel De Montaigne, “It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.” Who doesn’t need some sharpening or refreshing?
Where and how do you connect?
Look for local writers’ groups. The easiest place to start is just google “writers groups” and your city. I live near Portland, OR so literally typed in: writers groups portland or.
Here’s what I got:
You can narrow it down by putting the type of writing in. Also, many national or international groups have local chapters so search only by the specific type of writing, e.g. romance writers, Christian writers, children’s writers, scifi and fantasy, mystery.
Check out the websites of the ones that interest you. Do they offer local meetings, workshops, events, schmoozes? If so, check them out and talk to the other writers. Do they have discussion boards? Join and participate by reading some postings, commenting, asking questions. Facebook similarly has writing groups you can join. So does Yahoo groups.
On Twitter you can ask about people’s favorite writing groups if you need more input.
If you find a local group, volunteer. It’s the fastest way to get to know other writers. And sometimes it gives you extra benefits or discounts to events.
If you can’t find a group in your area, look for classes on writing, and check out libraries and bookstores for author events. Chatting with another attendee may connect you with other writers. If you find someone, invite them for coffee. Most writers love talking about writing, but not everyone will have time, so don’t be offended if someone says no.
Is it worth the time and effort?
If you’re a confirmed loner and don’t need other people, I guess not. But I do know my writing and I are better because of my connections with other writers. I’ve learned so much, been encouraged, gotten publishing tips, good feedback, and more. And maybe the best part—I’ve made lifelong friends.
SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.