You know how easy it is for writers to write on their own? To stick to themselves, writing and reading on their own? Anguishing over plot lines, fumbling over character development, musing over poetry lines, and waiting for the next blot of inspiration to hit. Sometimes we forget a rather important aspect of writing… having a community we can talk in. Real people in life that we can talk to, gain inspiration from, realize that we aren’t alone and more.
You know how C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien founded the Inklings? Feeling alone with their ideas that were out of the mainstream until they found each other and over ale and stories discovered encouragement. Other men joining in, until they had a group of writers spurring each other on and offering ideas and inspiration to each other.
We are no different you know? We need each other. Do you know the benefits of having a community?
Benefits of having a community
- Encouragement/Support/Fun/Friendship – all wrapped up in one bundle. Where would we be without good friends who share a similar interest? How can we write alone all the time? Where can we find the inspiration to go on when we don’t have others who share our hobby or interest? In person or on-line, it’s great to have people you can laugh with, cry with, and just be with.
- Critique – A writing community will also want to help you do better at what you want to be best at. They’ll critique you work in a building up manner, wanting to help you be the best you can be.
- Ideas – stuck? Not sure what to do next or what word would fit well with your thought? Struggling to understand a character you haven’t quite filled out yet? Having a group of like minded souls can inspire you as you bounce ideas off each other.
- Mentoring/Education – Trying to figure out the best way to do something? Stuck on what on-line platform to use, or what it means to tighten up a line or a paragraph? Needing an answer to question that maybe someone else has already figured out? Being part of a group is a good way to get those questions answered.. whether by you or another member.
- Accountability – ..have a goal.. like with NaNoWriMo 50,000 words in a month? Imagine you are all doing this encouraging each other, pushing each other along. Have a deadline to get a poem in? Or you need to do that mock up for an editor?
- Motivation – Stalling happens. Wouldn’t it be great to have a person who has been there done that be there to give you a nudge? Tonight I was watching a show with hubby where a gal had given up doing her art, and another artist brought out a canvas and said GO… do it now. Pushing her to return to a hobby loved. Giving her to motivation to do it for herself.
- Promotion/Publication – sharing our work.. whether it’s just for ourselves or for a larger audience, a writing community can and will help you with this. Even if you only share within your group..a community gives you the opportunity to give a clearer voice to the words you write. They can also host speaking events, or publish an anthology of your group works.