Friday, January 7

Embrace Your Fellow Writers!

All writers are loners. Their journeys are ones of solitude. Contact with other humans is kept to the minimal.

Oh. You're a writer? Hello! I'm one too.

Now...what was I saying?

Writers are social beings. We thrive off literature. Our enthusiasm for it grows when we converse with other writers and book lovers. We recommend novels to one another and offer a fresh eye in the critiquing stages of writing.

We are drawn to each other because we all have something in common: a passion. It's not a slim area of interest, either. Writing and reading can cover just about anything, yet we all come together over it, despite differentiating tastes in genres.

There are plenty of ways writers can communicate and get together, so that it doesn't have to be such a lonely business after all.

Blogging

A fantastic way to keep up your writing momentum is to have your own blog. It allows you to express yourself, discuss your writing process, what you are reading, and what developments in the literary community have captivated your attention.

There are plenty of writers and book lovers who have plenty of interesting things to say. Following blogs of fellow writers and commenting on their posts is a great way to stay informed, get their insights on all things bookish, and share yours.

Vlogging

Video blogging is is just like blogging, only you are able to see the face and mannerisms behind the words. Vlogging is an excellent way to connect with fellow writers and gain an even more elaborate insight into their persona and enthusiasm.

Whether you take up video blogging for yourself, or just follow the vlogging endevours of your fellow writers, it is a great medium to connect with others and participate in discussions on subjects which you mightn't otherwise have contemplated.

Twitter

I was very Twitter timid in the beginning. I thought, 'No, no, no – that's not for me. Twitter is all about what celebrities were doing and the massive fan bases that follow them, right?' Not at all! Once I read the Writer's Guide To Twitter and started tweeting with other writers and readers, it was tons of fun and very informative! Not to mention easy once you get the hang of it.

On the same day I got a book out of the library, I tweeted with the author of the book. That was awesome. People are really friendly on twitter and I have met lots of people through chats such as #LitChat. We don't have our own chat on Twitter but if you ever find yourself wanting to mention us, just add the hash tag #QuillCafe!

FaceBook

FaceBook is more of a personal networking site than Twitter, but it has several Groups which you can join and interact in, without anyone being able to access your personal information if you don't want them to. Quill Café has our own FaceBook Group if you want to check it out and there are plenty more. All you have to do is search "writing" or something similar to see what Groups you can find.

GoodReads

GoodReads is a website where you can organise your own virtual bookshelf, to keep track of everything you have read or want to read. It is also a great place to see what your fellow writers are reading, and what their opinions are on certain books.

It doesn't stop there, however. There are plenty of Groups on GoodReads, a lot of them devoted to writing. There, writers can communicate in the forums, get feedback on their work, and discuss all sorts of topics. You can also upload your own writing to GoodReads to get feedback as well as read other members' Stories.

Script Frenzy

In April, there is an event where people from all over the world set out to write 100 pages of a script in 30 days. That event is Script Frenzy! You can write a screenplay, a television script, a play script, an audio script, a comic/graphic novel script, a collection of short film scripts - anything you want as long as you can write it in script form.

There are several forums on the website where you can discuss your progress with Screnziers and get help from others. There are also local forums where you can find people who are participating in your area! So join now, before April rolls around.

Update: Script Frenzy has now, sadly, been discontinued due to low participation rates and insufficient funding.

NaNoWriMo

International novel writing month happens every November (known as NaNoWriMo) and is run by the same people who do Script Frenzy, so if you are signed up to one site, you are automatically signed up to the other.

NaNoWriMo means 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. That's right. People all over the world going for one crazy goal. Once again you have plenty of Forums, including local forums. You can check out who the Naners (commonly known as Wrimos) are in your region and even attend local meet-ups during the month. It's lots of fun and a great way to be productive with your novel writing.

Book Conventions

These happen all throughout the year, all over the world. From the London Book Fair to Book Expo America and many more. They are a great opportunity to meet up with fellow aspiring authors, bloggers, published authors, literary agents, booksellers and a great deal of people in the publishing and literary industry.

You can check online to see when and where book conventions and expos will be held. If you are already networking on Twitter, a fair amount of your literary peers should know where they are and may have even attended them in the past. Just do some research and see if there are any that might be held in your area!

Local Writer Meet-Ups

Networking with fellow writers online is great, and meeting up with people at conventions is brilliant, but there is nothing like the ability to connect with writers in your area on a regular basis, just to sit and write (or procrastinate...it happens) together, discuss various topics, exchange books on writing, and get and give advice on writing.

Look into whether there is a local writers group in your area, or perhaps even taking the initiative to set one up one your own. It is a brilliant incentive to be more productive and learn more from other writers.

Those are a few ways in which you can network and keep in touch with your fellow writers and literary peers. If there are any that I have missed, please let me know in the comments section below and maybe mention what are the best ways you have found to network with writers.

Just remember, you don't have to be a lone wolf. Go forth and embrace your fellow writers!

3 comments:

Almi said...

This is great! Very informative for the lonesome writer, or just any writer. Thanks very much!

Trisha said...

Thank you for the link to the writer's guide to Twitter - I've never really 'got' Twitter, and it's seemed like just a waste of space to me. But I will read that guide :D

Anne Da Vigo said...

Nothing gets me going and keeps me going on my writing like my weekly writers group! We write together from prompts, and listening to the creative spark from so many talented people fuels my writing for days. Out of our years together, the group wrote a book, "Coffee and Ink: How a Writers Group Can Nourish Your Creativity".