Writing is most often portrayed as a solitary activity. Most people hear writer and picture a grumpy introvert poring over their manuscript in a dimly lit room, draining cups of coffee and filling wastebaskets with work they don’t like.
It’s the romantic image of the focused artist, but the truth is, most of us aren’t like that; we find different ways to put our stories to paper.
While the action of writing itself is often done in quiet places (with lots of coffee,) that’s a surprisingly small part of the storytelling process. If you look at the big picture, writing can’t be done alone. Critique partners are necessary to ensure our stories are good and that we aren’t blinded by our bias as authors.
Writing buddies aren’t only around for critique. Anyone who’s been through the challenge of writing a book knows how discouraging it can be; often we need peers around us to keep us going.
Maybe you don’t have any friends who like to write. What should you do?
Fortunately, the Internet makes it incredibly easy to find other writers and build long-lasting friendships. Through Facebook groups and Twitter chats, we work on our novels together and give advice to one another.
I wouldn’t have gotten very far if I tried being that writer with the dark room and coffee. We need to interact with other writers. It’s important to get beta readers, letting fresh eyes look over our manuscripts so we can make our books great.
Perhaps you’re intimidated by the thought of wading through the Internet in search of a writing circle, but you just need to know where to look.
The NaNoWriMo group on Facebook is a great place to start. With over 20,000 members interested in countless genres, you’re bound to find someone to cheer you on if you want to write that novel. Members can be found all over the world, and the group is very active, even when it’s not November.
The #AmWriting hashtag on Twitter connects people who write, allowing us to live-tweet during the process. Twitter can be a thousand shades of scary if you don’t know how to use it, but here’s a list of hashtags for writers to check out.
Look for groups that are active and friendly; then, all you have to do is interact! Don’t be shy. Before long, you’ll have built your own circle of writing friends to make the writing process easier and give moral support.
Writing involves a lot of introspection; yes, the act of putting pen to paper may be solitary. But not every writer is the same. Some of us need interactive word wars to make progress, or create music playlists for our projects.
Find what works for you and go make writing friends to cheer you on!