Writing In Community

One of the things I love about being a writer is that I’m also always a student.  There are always new things to learn, ways to stretch and grow as a writer, ways to hone your craft.

In the past two months I’ve learned that community is very important to me when I’m trying to write.  It’s interesting, since writing was originally something I did when I wanted to be left alone.  It was an escape for me, a place where I could create the rules and adventures.  Now, though, I find it easier to write when I know that there are others out there also writing.  I now have a semi-regular writing date after work one day a week, and even when I am not really in the mindset to write I find that I do. Because the other person there is writing, and that is the whole point of that time.  So if I don’t write then… then when will I?

I also have discovered that the online community can work well to help drive me. I’ve become a big fan of #wordsprints on twitter.  I started to use it this past November for National Novel Writing Month — but then stumbled on them again in April and found it very helpful.  Even if I wasn’t rushing to beat a word-count, but rather undertaking the slow, and sometimes painstaking, process of editing.  Knowing that there were others trying to do the same thing, others plodding away at their  Works-in-Progress, at the same time, was very reassuring.

I find other writers through various online groups, wandering around blogs, and conversations on twitter.  I have a handful of writing friends that I get to see in person as well.  All these different types of community and opportunities for commiseration is so helpful. It reminds me that I am not alone in the struggles of being a writer, nor am I alone when it comes time to celebrate victories.  Sometimes I still need to write alone, to be isolated with the worlds I’m working on, but it is really nice to know that there are others out there  going through the same thing.

 

Set up for a post-work writing-date at one of our favorite writing-spots.
Set up for a post-work writing-date at one of our favorite writing-spots.
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3 thoughts on “Writing In Community”

  1. I’ve found that my motivation is different when others are involved. Being around other developers inspires me to want to do more of my own stuff. When you’re just keeping it to yourself there’s nothing to compare to, aspire to be or pressure to drive you. You can make up silly excuses for why you can put it off for another day and there’s nobody to hold you to it. Sometimes involving others helps to keep your sense of commitment stronger.

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  2. I agree with writing community being very important. Even if your styles and genres are different, there’s still much to talk about and learn from each other, and cheering each other on is beneficial to all parties as well. It helps knowing you’re not alone. I’ve learned this from write-in events during National Novel Writing Month. I’m not huge on sharing my work when it’s not ready, but just having the people around is help enough. We’re all in this journey together, even if the work aspect it oftentimes done alone. And I still need to try #wordsprints on Twitter. One day!

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