Writing Support

A Guide to Finding Your Writing Community

“Writing is about community, even if you write alone.”

Natalie Goldberg

Natalie Goldberg wrote, in her book Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life, referred to writers needing to read other people’s work, to broaden their reading outside their own. Of course, most writers understand that concept as many are avid readers. Because of the pandemic, the quote takes on a new meaning. Physical writing groups stopped meeting. The simple act of writing at the local coffee shop ceased. The act of sharing words and writing energy shifted online.

I’m a self-proclaimed homebody, introvert type of person, so the act of writing alone is a comfort. You will find me in my woman-cave, in my chair shutting the world out with my noise-canceling headphones.

But I found motivation and inspiration in writing in community. Writing alongside others doing the same. Sharing the energy amongst other writers pushes me further than writing in my space alone.

I will admit, using Zoom for the first few times, made me question writing virtually with others. Once I ignored my image, I managed to break through that self-imposed barrier and found myself comfortable in this virtual community. I found my people. Are you looking for your writing tribe? Check out some of these communities below. These are the ones I’ve used and recommend.

The writing communities where I have found inspiration and support:

NaNoWriMo: Stands for National November Writing Month. You commit to writing 50,000 in November. It’s a big commitment but a doable one especially when you have support from all over the world from fellow writers. But you don’t have to wait for November. NaNo also holds two camps, one in the spring and one in the summer. The next one is in July. You set your own goal. And if the timing of the camps doesn’t work for you, you can use the NaNo website anytime to set goals and connect with other writers. Feel free to connect with me on my NaNo profile page.

London Writers’ Salon: You don’t have to write alone when you’re with LWS. Join The Writers’ Hour writing sessions, one-hour writing sprints Monday-Friday at four different times per day. The writers gather and write together over Zoom. It is a great way to stay accountable. If you’re introverted like me, you don’t have to speak with another soul, you just write together virtually. It’s a great way to stay accountable. You set your writing goal for the hour in the chat and go. There is energy shared when writing with others, even if it’s done virtually. It keeps me focused on the writing task at hand. These writing sprints are free but you can join as a Patreon and receive more benefits and opportunities through the group. I’ve been very impressed with their live events as well.

#1000wordsofsummer: Join this accountablity group, organized by writer Jami Attenberg. It begins May 31st and ends June 13. We are committing to 1000 words per day for two weeks. Follow the hashtag #1000wordsofsummer on Instagram and/or Twitter. Let’s get our words on!

Coffee House Writers: I joined CHW earlier this year as a content writer and found a supportive writing group as well. When you write for CHW, you work with an editor on each piece you write, which has been invaluable. CHW is always looking for new writers, click here for more info.

Medium: Medium was one of the first websites I went to for writing support and inspiration. It can be overwhelming as you browse the site, but as a writer, you can find writing inspiration, publications, and groups to join to further your writing skills. You can find my Medium page here.

Retreat West: I found this community on Twitter originally. They were promoting a monthly micro-fiction competition. I joined as a member shortly after discovering the community because could feel the support and inspiration through their Twitter page. And that is what I’ve found, monthly live events, classes, and a supportive community of writers. For more info about joining the Retreat West community, click here.

Jericho Writers: Another community I found on Twitter. I discovered their online Summer Festival in 2020. I was impressed with the live events and classes they presented over three months last summer. I’m attending again this summer. If you can’t attend live during the events, you can always watch the replays. It’s the highlight of my writing summer! To learn more about the 2021 Summer Festival click here.

#writingcommunity on Twitter: Speaking of Twitter, in the past I haven’t really enjoyed this social media platform but since I started writing my first book, I turned to the writing community found on Twitter. It’s how I have found writing friends, groups, contests, submission calls, etc. You will find countless writing tags, such as #amwriting, #writerslift, #writing, and the list goes on and on. I would love to connect with you on Twitter, click here.

Photo Credit: Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

My question for you: Where did you find your writing community? Tell us about your community (online or offline) in the comments below.

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Author

elliejacobson@gmail.com
Ellie is currently a graduate student studying creative writing while working on her first novel. She writes short stories and creative nonfiction for Coffee House Writers and is a fiction reader for Unchartered Magazine. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, two teenage sons & kitty Mr. Percy.
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