As a writer, it is easy to get into the habit of cuddling up in a cozy cocoon, acquainted only with a cat and a cup of coffee. Your main character may have more of a social life in a single chapter than you have had in months.
But, as easy as it is to forget about the other 7 billion people on the planet and get lost in your own pages—finding a writing community has countless benefits.
Why Join a Writing Community?
Finding a writing community can be the difference between self-publishing your own book and becoming a human paper shredder.
To start, getting feedback from others is essential during the writing process. Maybe that paragraph deserves a Pulitzer in your head, but it might not make sense to any other living soul. On top of constructive criticism, a community can provide encouragement when you’re in the trenches. Those around you know what it is like and can offer advice and motivation to help you keep pushing. Lastly, consistent writing buddies can hold you accountable if you have been spending more time color-coding your shirts or binge-watching Game of Thrones. Elevate your writing, have a support team for encouragement, and keep procrastination in place with a strong writing community around you.
With the pandemic still lingering around, you may be wondering how to connect with other writers. Luckily, there are plenty of options to find your virtual writing community. Here are a few tips to help you get started!
Finding a Virtual Writing Community
There are plenty of online platforms writers can use to connect. Absolute Write Water Cooler provides forums to connect with thousands of active writers and threads in just about every genre. For those further along in the writing process, AgentQuery not only provides a great writing community but also tips on finding an agent and publishing. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) provides a space for writers all around the world who take on the 50,000 words in 30 days challenge.
Give one a try and feel the difference a team around you can make in your writing life.
Using Social Media
Yes, that app that usually distracts you from your writing can actually work to your advantage. Try out these Facebook groups to start connecting. Write Life Community has over 30,000 members and shares everything from writing prompts to job opportunities. Check out these other groups to see which may be the right fit for you: Author Success Collective, Writers Helping Writers, and Inner Circle Writers’ Group. There are countless groups that can give you that writing community feel without leaving your home.
On Instagram, you can find everything from pages that give daily prompts (like @_daily.writing.prompts) to weekly open mic nights streamed live. Search hashtags that relate to your work to find relevant pages.
While networking with other writers, don’t pass up the opportunity to work on that social media self-promoting and marketing skills. They’ll come in handy once you’re ready to self-publish!
Going Back to School (Virtually)
While by far the most complicated and expensive option on our list, a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in creative writing guarantees a strong community of other writers along with experienced faculty. What’s more, many programs have part-time and online options to accommodate your busy schedule. In just a few years, you can graduate with a terminal degree and a publishable manuscript, not to mention fellow writers around you to network with. If this option sounds right for you, check out a few online programs here.
Whether you need encouragement, a proofreader, or inspiration to get over the many hurdles you face, a writing community lends plenty of benefits to your work. Now, more than ever, you can remain in the comforts of your cocoon and still connect with writers all around the world.