Most authors are introverts who would much rather be in their own personal bubble without others breaking their concentration, but this is why joining writing communities is important. Sure your family and friends can offer motivational support, but it is unlikely they will fully understand the trials and tribulations that a writer faces each time they place themselves in front of a keyboard or put pen to paper.
Writing communities both provide relief from this stress and increase your productivity because you’re communicating with others facing the same problems you are. Here are a few other ways that the communities can benefit you:
1. Encouragement: It helps to know that someone else relates to the struggles you go through when writing gets tough. Keeping your worries bottled up is only going to be detrimental to yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak with others about these concerns. You can count on them encouragement and tips. Kind words can go a long way in giving you the boost you need to keep motivated.
2. Advice: Let’s face it: no book is perfect: there is always room for improvement. Fellow writers can offer their opinions on how they would approach different elements in your book and help you work out the kinks. They can also explain their own personal experiences when it comes to writing, editing, and publishing. Constructive criticism like this can become a valuable asset in your writing journey because advice is one of the most valuable thing a writer can get.
3. Friendship: The most important aspect of being in a writing community is the potential friendships you can form. Being able to talk and laugh with people who share similar interests is great. Sharing stories about your writing fails and accomplishments with others who have been there too helps to form strong bonds. If you are in a group long enough, you may even develop long-lasting friendships.
Where can you find these communities? Some may be closer than you think! Consider joining these writing communities below:
1. NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month is an annual event that takes place during the month of November. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in the span of 30 days. You can connect with fellow writers on social media sites by using the NaNoWriMo hashtag.
2. Social Media: Use Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook to discover writing groups. Many are eager to welcome people into their fold! Before long you’ll be joining chats and having discussions that are easily relatable.
3. Writing Sites: There are websites where writers can post their work online and receive feedback from readers and other writers. In fact, some authors, such as Sarah J Maas, got their start on websites like these! Just be careful posting your content publicly. If it’s not copyrighted, someone might appropriate it. Suggested sites include: Wattpad, Authonomy, Booksie, Figment and Story Bird.
There are even more writing communities out there to join, and each one has their own culture that may suit you better than another. It comes down to knowing you as a writer and knowing what you want out a writing community.