If you’re a writer, you’ve likely heard about writing communities by now: Online—or even local, in-person—groups that exist solely for the support of writers can be crucial to your craft! You might even be a part of one of these communities dedicated to the support of its members. But, if you haven’t heard of this phenomenon, fear not—Night Heron Media is here to help you understand why you should care about the existence of these communities.
Improve Your Writing Skills
It’s no secret that writing gets better with critique, for the most part. One of the top reasons many writers join a writing group is to join a critique group or exchange reads. If you’ve heard of the term "beta readers," this is where folks often find said readers (usually in exchange for agreeing to be a beta reader for the other party’s manuscript). This can provide you with valuable feedback about your manuscript, from your plot to your characters.
Get Past Writer's Block
Stuck on your next writing project? A writing community can be an excellent resource for getting you past writer’s block and coming up with new ideas, as folks might exchange prompts and inspiration. Listening to others talk about their projects is a fantastic way to get inspiration for a current or new project—as long as you’re not plagiarizing. This might even come down to them talking about how they get around writer’s block, what they do when they’ve hit that point, or how they warm up for the day—all of which can be helpful for everyday writing.
Be More Motivated to Write
Writing can also be lonely and can even take a lot out of you. If you don’t have many people who fully understand what goes into writing, writing communities can be great in terms of encouragement. You might read stories of others’ struggles or share your own when you’ve hit a block, all of which is likely to be met by an overwhelming amount of support—something writers always need. Just knowing you have a community to turn to if you’ve hit a wall, or even when you’ve finished a project and want to share it with someone, can be incredibly reassuring.
Stay On Top of Your Writing Goals
Everyone can agree that sometimes, it can be hard to stay on track with your writing goals. Joining a writing community is a great way to keep yourself—and others—accountable to those goals. Whether it’s everyone pledging to participate in NaNoWriMo or simply agreeing to hit 5,000 by the end of the week, knowing that you’re not alone in something as big as hitting a word count can be an immense help, as it just changes the energy surrounding a goal. Writers often face the same issue—procrastination—and knowing you’re all in the same boat (even if you’re the ones who put yourselves there) can make hitting that word count so much easier.
If all of this sounds like something you could use in your life, you might try checking out sites like Ninja Writers, scrolling through the #WritingCommunity hashtag on Twitter, or looking around for local book organizations through libraries or bookstores. Not only will you make new friends, but you’ll be able to improve your writing as well.