Writers Need Community

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Writing is a solitary experience. We have an idea, we flesh it out in our minds, then we sit behind our computers or with pen to paper and pull the visions from our imaginations, painting pictures with our words.

But this doesn’t mean we have to go it alone.

Healthy Writing Communities Provide Encouragement

While the act of writing is solitary and often lonely, being a part of a community reminds us that we are not alone. We all go through ups and downs in our writing careers, and it’s our community that encourages us to keep going, that listens as we work through ideas, shares resources, and gives us critical feedback. We share a passion, we know the struggles each of us face, and there’s something powerful in that shared experience. Healthy writing communities help to motivate us when we’re feeling burnt out or discouraged, sharing in the struggles and encouraging us as we persevere to bring our creative ideas to life.

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Writing Communities Provide an Opportunity to Learn and Grow

Being a part of a writing community means sharing our wins, but it also means sharing what hasn’t worked for us, ultimately providing an opportunity to cheer for one another and to learn from one another. When we share what works, we all gain something, and when we share what didn’t work — we all gain something as well.

By listening to others talk about their processes, we gain a unique insight into the perspective of other writers that we wouldn’t get by going it alone, and these new and different perspectives have the ability to enhance our own journeys, making us stronger and more confident writers.

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Writing Communities Provide an Opportunity to Work Together

Practice is a crucial element of becoming a great, no, a WARRIOR writer. And what better way to practice than to write short fiction — nothing super time consuming, just somewhere between 1,000 and 2,500 words is enough to analyze and improve upon, but not so much that it takes a crucial amount of time away from bigger projects. But what’s even better is practicing together.

Have you ever been part of a writing community where, for practice, everyone writes a short story from the same writing prompt?

I started doing this recently and it turned out to be so much fun, inspiring, and helpful! It’s amazing to see how different the stories can be considering they all started with the same idea.

Another opportunity to work together is through collaboration. I collaborate on all my long fiction and it’s so much fun to take our ideas and mesh them together into a cohesive story. But long fiction isn’t the only way to collaborate. You can collaborate just as easily with a short story, or better yet, why not combine your short stories into a short story anthology?

Writing Communities Help Us Find New Readers

We want to support and encourage one another and part of that support is helping each other find readers. We all want our fellow writers to succeed, and one way that communities can help is to share new book releases, write reviews, and tell friends about an article your fellow writer penned. Each time we share something for a fellow writer, a brand new audience is being introduced to their work. How awesome is that!

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Consider Joining a Writing Community

There are many writing communities out there, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one. The trick is finding the one that’s the best fit for you, one that’s positive and uplifting.

You may consider joining Warrior Writers, the Inspiring Creative Minds Writers Mastermind group, or really any other healthy writing community, but remember, what’s important is that you find your people, people who will support and encourage you and those you can support and encourage as well.

Jennifer Harris (JL Harris) is the co-author of The Providence Series and The Catalyst Series. She’s also an editor and proofreader who blogs about the writing craft and editing processes at Inspiring Creative Minds.

When Jennifer is not writing or editing, you can find her hiking, reading, or playing a Beethoven Sonata on the piano.

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