Are you struggling to improve your writing by yourself, without much success?
Do you feel isolated or alone because your close friends and family members don’t really understand your writing, or even what it means to be a writer?
Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Maybe you just need to work on your craft. Or maybe your writing is good enough, but you just need to have other writers around to discuss or share your ideas with.
You can easily surround yourself with other writers who understand everything you’re going through in your writing career and business, and who can also help you improve your writing so you don’t have to carry the burden alone.
To make this happen, all you need to do is one thing:
Join a writing community!
Now, before you ask, a writing community can be described as a group of writers who meet regularly to discuss, learn, and share ideas about writing, what it means to be a writer, and so many other writing-related issues and topics common to writers everywhere.
The best part is that there are many different types of writing communities to choose from, each filled with its own benefits and specifications. The trick is finding the one that works best for you.
Even if you think you’re a “lone wolf” kind of writer, there are major benefits to joining a writing community that you surely don’t want to miss!
Types of Writing Communities
Sometimes, a writing community is also referred to as a writer group, club, or circle. In addition, different types of writing communities exist based on factors such as:
- How members meet — Meetings may take place online or in person at a specific location, or even as a combination of both.
- Membership fees — Some writing communities welcome new members at no cost while others charge fees on a monthly or annual basis. But you can also find groups that provide both free and paid membership options.
- Goal/focus — While some writer groups are set up to address any and all issues that members may struggle with, others may just focus on one or two specific issues. For instance, they might just give feedback on members’ writing or provide writing prompts. They may also only welcome writers of a specific genre, niche, and so on.
When looking for the right group for you, it’s important to consider your own personal writing goals and focus, making sure the community is not only a good fit, but that it cares about your growth and overall success.
Now that you know what a writing community is and the different types available, let’s take a closer look at six fantastic benefits you get when you join a writing community.
Get Support and Encouragement From Writers Like You
Without other writers cheering you on, it’s easy to lose motivation and become discouraged. This is usually the case when you struggle with the same issues writers deal with on a regular basis, such as writer’s block, impostor syndrome, and so on.
But when you belong to a writing community, no matter what you’re going through in your writing career, life, or business, most likely one or more people in the community have gone through the same thing and can help you navigate the situation successfully.
Just scored a big win in your writing career? Members of your group will rejoice and celebrate with you wholeheartedly.
Just received another rejection slip, negative feedback, or struggling with writer’s block?
Members of your writing group will have your back. They will provide all the support and encouragement you need to learn from the experience, move on, and continue trying without giving up.
Network With Experienced Writers and Industry Professionals
When you join a writing community, don’t be surprised if you come across a wide range of professionals in the writing industry who are also members.
Such professionals could include agents, publishers, editors, bestselling authors, marketers and marketing experts, proofreaders, writing coaches and consultants, virtual assistants, bloggers, ghostwriters, entrepreneurs, and many more.
Honestly, members of your writing community will be people from all walks of life who are passionate about writing. While some may just be starting their writing journey, others may have years or even decades of writing experience, either on a full-time or part-time basis.
By joining a writing community made up of such a diverse group of people with valuable knowledge and experience in different areas of the writing business, you’ll be able to network and develop meaningful relationships, which you can tap into and benefit from, regardless of your writing status.
Improve Your Knowledge and Update Your Skills
As a member of a writing group or community, a major benefit you will get is the opportunity to improve your knowledge and update your skills in many relevant areas.
Of course, you’ll learn how to succeed as a writer in your genre; the general do’s and don’ts of the writing life; writing tips and tricks from veterans; the latest writing industry trends, news, and events; and much more.
Not only will you have opportunities to ask questions about topics and areas you’re clueless about or don’t understand very well, you’ll also learn a lot from questions asked by other members and the answers or advice given to them.
Furthermore, you’ll be able to reach out one-on-one to members you believe have answers to your questions, or can help you with something you’re struggling with.
On top of all these, most writing groups and communities regularly invite experts to speak to or teach their members about different relevant topics so that they can ultimately achieve their writing goals.
Bottom line, all these go a long way to ensure that you’ll stay current and updated on what’s happening in the industry, what has changed or is changing, and what may likely happen in the future.
Become Accountable and Write a Lot More
Another wonderful benefit of joining a writing community is that you’ll write consistently a lot more than you normally do.
One, seeing what other writers like you have achieved or are achieving (that you’re still dreaming of) can inspire and push you to take your writing more seriously and dedicate more time to it.
Two, coming across other members who produce fresh writing samples on a regular basis can wake up your competitive spirit, leading to friendly competition that energizes you to write more and even show up at every meeting with new samples of your writing.
Three, some writing groups provide prompts that members use to write and submit by an agreed deadline, while some other communities prefer that members meet to write during their meeting period. Obviously, if you belong to either of these two types of communities, you will write a lot more than you normally do on your own.
In essence, whether you procrastinate a lot, or sometimes lack the motivation or inspiration to write on a regular basis, taking the time to find and belong to a good writing community can help push you past your limits to write a lot more and stay consistent.
Get Honest and Actionable Feedback on Your Writing
Another major advantage of a writing community or club is the opportunity to share samples of your writing so you can get honest and unbiased feedback.
Without such a community or group, you may be reduced to stalking and harassing your non-writer friends and family members to read your work and provide constructive feedback.
This option is not always in your best interest because those close to you might not tell you their honest opinion just to avoid hurting your feelings.
However, when you join a critique group or a writing community that provides feedback, you stand a higher chance of getting honest, unbiased, constructive, and actionable feedback from writers who know what to check, know what to look out for, and aren’t afraid to get critical about your writing.
Their main goal is to help you improve your writing and achieve your writing goal. Whether it’s writing a specific number of words daily or finishing your novel, they’re there to help.
Gain More Confidence and Develop a Thick Skin
To become successful as a writer, you must have the confidence to send your writing out into the world for other people to read and enjoy.
A lot of new writers struggle with this and worry endlessly that their writing is not good enough to share with anyone.
By joining a writing community, you’ll gradually become comfortable enough to share your writing within the community. You’ll also start to look forward to the actionable feedback you’ll get so you can improve your writing.
With time, you’ll develop a thick skin and become confident enough to want to share your work with a bigger audience outside your writing community, such as taking part in writing contests and competitions, starting a blog, pitching and writing guest posts, self-publishing, and so on.
So, What Are You Waiting For?
With everything you’ve learned so far, you’ll agree that becoming a member of a writing community appears to be one of the best decisions you can make as a writer.
Here’s what Kimmery Martin, an ER doctor turned novelist, had to say about her writing group, in an interview with Writer’s Digest:
If you took away my writing group, you’d sap my will to live, let alone my will to keep writing. They’re my everything. We formed serendipitously through a variety of chance encounters, but we’ve managed to create a multifaceted entity where we do it all: critiquing, proofreading, idea-generating, and every possible kind of crisis management.
Lastly, don’t forget to do your homework and choose a writing group that can provide the necessary support, inspiration, and encouragement you need to update your knowledge and skills, improve your craft, build your confidence as a writer, and write more than ever before, so you can achieve all your writing goals while having plenty of fun.