Writing Community Anyone?
Right then . . . I'll just dive right in with this.
Hi, My name is Beth and I want writing friends. (Isn't that declaratively needy?!)
Here's the thing though: I'm not alone. Just this week, I've had three separate conversations with people who've admitted to being writers in need of other writers. There is encouragement found among friends.
By definition, writers are people who thrive only in the presence of readers—that's really the motivation that started the whole blog movement, non? I'm pretty sure we are all just a bunch of writers reaching for an audience, and how great is that?!
And yet, whether you are working to build a blog, or finish a book, writing can be and most often is, unbelievably hard work. It's solitary and it demands dedication of time, energy, heart, mind, and a willingness to give up other things in order that it might be honed.
Case in point: My house is rarely clean, laundry rarely done, floors rarely mopped, and dinner is rarely on the table at the same time every night (or, ahem, at all). I don't attend a lot of social activities, I don't belong to a cooking club, or wine club, or book club. I don't watch TV and I rarely watch movies. But all of this is by choice. I've chosen to dedicate my time and my energy to my writing. Now, I am also a wife, a mom of two wee-uns—ages 4 and 2—a sister, friend, daughter, auntie, active member of my church and tiny local community, and sometimes I sleep. . . so it's not like I have a lot of time to throw around in the first place. But that which I do have, I try my best to use constructively.
And that leads me back to that declaratively needy admission I made above. —The one about friends. It's ok. You can scroll up and read it again. I'll wait.
My world is small and my time is limited. But I want to grow and I want to help others grow in this work of writing well.
Enter: The Writers' Guild
I've never belonged to a writers group, (though I have a little circle of friends who have served as critique partners), and I'm hoping to get something along the lines of a writing group up and running before too long. However, I know several people for whom time constraints and distance would be an issue should a little writing group start meeting in my home, say, Tuesday or Thursday nights once a month. Driving from New York to Minnesota once a month just is a tad inconvenient, if you catch my drift. That acknowledged, I've been trying to think of a solution.
How can I develop a supportive network of writing friends, regardless of distance or time?
And this is it > An Online Writing Community, right here on WritingWordByWord. —Consider it a kind of tag-team partnership between a standard writer's group and an online writing forum.
"Great," you say. "But seriously, Beth, there are, like, a million online writing forums I could use, if I wanted. And they are ALL a lot more established and networked than your little venture, here."
True. But here, you can be assured of the focused attention of a small group of writers, who are interested in you and your work specifically—because it's small!
And hey, if nothing else, this could be a place where you hear a word of encouragement when your muse abandons you, when you get another rejection letter, when you need a second opinion on that blog post you've been working on, or when you just want to hear someone say, "Don't give up! You can do this, and you are closer than you think."