As a writer, there are few things that beat coming together with fellow writers who understand your career and struggles. It’s a key reason of why you need a writing community.
Since most writers don’t go into an office with other writers, it’s essential for a lot of people to find a community and to network with groups.
What is a writing community?
A writing community is a place that writers can go to meet other writers and hit their writing goals.
Now, each writing goal can be completely different depending on the community you intend to join.
Maybe you want to join a community that helps you publish a book, develop a writing habit, connect with other writers, and so on.
Either way, it’s a group that comes together to help each other meet their goals or to give support and feedback.
How you can benefit from a writing community
While some people are intrinsically motivated and don’t need any extra support to get things done, for a lot of us, having a community of like minded people who are focused on the same goal can help a ton when it comes to getting the ball rolling.
Having a community not only helps you stay on task, but it can also help you think outside the box, stay accountable, and meet people you would not meet otherwise.
For example, fi you’ve never queried publishing companies before, being able to talk to people who have gone through it and succeeded can help save you a ton of time or get over your own worries about it.
Let’s go over some other reasons you might need a writing community and then talk about where you can find them.
1 – Learning and development
If you’re new to a specific type of writing, the first and most obvious benefit of a writing community is helping you learn and develop your skills.
Most of us don’t just wake up one day with the ability to write well.
It takes deliberate practice and time, but having a group to help direct you, give you writing tips, and practice assignments, can help a ton when it comes to developing your skills.
You will often be able to improve faster with a group than you would on your own trying to figure it out.
Not only that, but you can learn all kinds of things you didn’t even know such as how to design a book cover, how to self-publish, how to work with an editor, and more.
There is rarely a downside to learning from people who have far more experience than you, even if you don’t end up using all of their tips. Sometimes one single tip that helps you launch your career is worth the price of a course alone
2 – Support and encouragement
While it’s nice to be able to write on your own, in peace and quiet, it’s also nice to have a community to turn to.
Having people who understand your career and your lifestyle can make a huge difference in your overall mental health.
Not many people understand what it’s like to write a book, to spend time alone, and to have a creative career in general. Having people who understand what writer’s block is like, how hard it is to put your chapters together, and everything else that goes with it, can help you make it through the hard steps.
3 – Accountability
The main thing about writing that is hard is the fact that you need to set your own deadlines and stick to them.
Rarely do you have people asking you for first drafts or making you hit a deadline.
With a writing community, you can get that extra accountability step that you’re missing from your own routine. There will be other people counting on you to keep up your daily or weekly word count and do the next steps that are uncomfortable (like pitching editors).
4 – People to ask for help
When you’re stuck writing or in your publishing process, it’s nice to have people to go to and get advice from.
Otherwise, you’re going to need to try and figure it out on your own, which can take a ton of extra time or you could end up using the wrong advice and have to start all over.
Having a community where you can go in and get feedback right and when you need it most can save you a ton of pain.
This means you also can find a community where you can get feedback, which is hard to find online.
This also gives you people to network with who can help you move your career forward.
Five places to find a writing community
Now that you know all of the benefits of a writing community, you might be wondering, “Okay, where do I find these great groups?”
First, you’ll want to pick the top goal you have in mind for needing a community. Finding a writing community that helps you write every day will be different than a group that helps you get your first book published.
While some groups can do every part of it, for the most part, you’re going to want to hunt for a group that will help you focus on your first goal in mind.
Once you have that down, let’s go over where you can find a community to help you achieve your writing goals.
1 – Forums
If you’re low on funds or not sure if you’re ready to commit to writing and are just dabbling, free forums online are a great place to start.
For example, there are a ton of writing communities on Discord, AbsoluteWrite, and Reddit for you to find where you can start to learn about this path.
2 – Nanowrimo
As one of the biggest writing challenges online, Nanowrimo is the group where people challenge themselves to write a book in a month.
Not everyone hits this goal, but having such a passionate group can help you get your book writing started in a focused way.
3 – selfpublishing.com
Selfpublishing.com has a great option for aspiring authors.
It’s not for the faint of heart, though. It’s a serious program designed to get you up and running to publish your book, with all of the support and community help you could use along the way.
4 – Genre-specific writing groups
If you’re trying to write a specific type of book, it can help a ton to find groups that are specifically about that genre.
For example, if you’re trying to write children’s books you’re going to want to join groups for children’s book authors. It can help you get industry-specific advice and help you get your book finished and published faster.
5 – Events for writers
Events are some of the best places to find other writers and groups to join. Check out this list of writing events to find a few!
You might also want to look in your local area or in the nearest big city close to you. You might be surprised at the kind of events available for writers.
What to do next
If you’re serious about writing a book, you won’t want to miss this information on how to write and publish your book in 90 days (without needing to lock yourself in a cabin in the woods to get it done):