Today we are going to talk about the importance of getting involved with the writing community. I know, if you are an introvert like me, you are cringing at the thought of actually having to socialize with other humans, but I promise it’s not as bad as it sounds. I’d say I’ll hold your hand as we get started but that would invade a personal space bubble that I’m just not comfortable crossing. So instead, I’ll tell you how to start from my comfy chair behind my computer screen.
“But Shauna…why do I have to get involved?”
Well, you don’t… I guess, but you definitely should. It is a great place to meet other writers who are going through the same steps of the process as you are. Let’s be honest, family and friends don’t always understand why you are writing or even support you. That’s why being involved in the writing community is so important. It’s filled with people who have the same understanding and passion as you do.
Not only that, but it is also filled with people who have been in the industry longer than you and are so graciously willing to help. Can you say information overload?
Last but not least, if you ever want to eventually sell your novel you are going to need people who want to read it. Writers are readers. Now, this should not be your only goal when getting involved but it is an added benefit. It’s never too early to start gaining a following. But that’s for a later Blog.
The easiest way to get involved is social media of course! All of the platforms make it easy to get in contact with other writers, just like you. I’m mostly going to talk about Facebook because that is my preferred platform, but I will also touch on Instagram and Twitter.
Facebook has thousands of groups that you can get involved in, from very specific to very broad. Three of the groups I’m in have over 15,000 members. A publisher runs one group, and the other two are run by editors. Not only are they very accomplished but their administrators are filled with published authors and editors. These are people you need to be involved with.
Fiction Writing is run by a publisher. He does an anthology (The one right now is A Haunting of Words) compiled of short stories from the group. How amazing is that? For me, an unpublished author, this is an incredible opportunity to become a published author. I only joined this group three months ago so I won’t be entering into this anthology but he announces the next on April 1st, and you can bet I’m entering something in there.
Writing Fiction is another great group. This group like Fiction Writing is filled with publishers and editors. They are doing a similar project within the group that I did enter in. This is a little different because it is more geared towards unpublished writers. In this project, we had to submit a short story, and we are currently going through the first round of the editing process. The goal is to teach you the steps from rough draft to publication. At the end of the process, I have a chance of being published in the final work. By the end of the year, I could be a traditionally published author! <— Amazing!
I also found my fantastic critic partner in this group. I needed someone to be able to talk to about my work and bounce ideas off of. More importantly, someone that understood the writing process. We get along so well, and he is absolutely brilliant! I’m so thankful for the friendships I have grown from all over the world in these groups.
Other groups do similar things, some do training courses for free or low cost. Some are just great for the support. You can do a simple search to find other groups if these are not exactly what you are looking for.
I also found my fantastic critique partner in one of these groups. I needed someone to be able to talk to about my work and bounce ideas off of. More importantly, someone that understood the writing process. We get along so well, and he is absolutely brilliant! I’m so thankful for the friendships I have grown from all over the world in these groups.
Hashtags are your #friend! You can search hashtags to read the recent posts of those that have used them. The most useful to me are #amwriting and #writing. If you use no others, at least use these two. Not only when searching but on your own work. This will make you visible to other writers as well. Like their posts or dare I say… comment on their work. Follow each other it’s great to support other writers too.
The writing community can be such a supportive place, especially for an aspiring author. There are so many people at the same exact spot you are that are looking for someone to connect with.
If you found these tips helpful give me a like below, it really helps me out. Please, comment below if you have any additional communities that you are involved with on social media that you have found helpful.
As always don’t forget to follow my page on the way out to keep up on the progress of my novel and any writing tips I find along the way. If you have any other questions feel free to reach out to me on my contact page or tweet me @shauna_philp, I would love to hear from you.
P.S. I have a special treat for you coming out later today! My friend Vivian Reis is doing her cover reveal today, and I’m helping support her! #writerssupportingwriters