A career in writing sounds like an introvert’s dream, doesn’t it?
Spending long, exhausting (yet oh-so-rewarding) hours on your laptop, racking up word counts for clients around the world, enjoying the optionally-anonymous role of an independent ghostwriter or copywriter…
To some extent it’s true that you can effortlessly ease into solitude as you build your career. Of course, you can also go big league and get your byline all over the biggest media outlets! It really depends on your end goal.
But even if you’ve blissfully traded in the stuffy, over-your-shoulder corporate vibes of being a 9-5 writer for that sweet sense of solitude as you plow through milestones toward a successful career, it still pays to connect with other writers.
The chance to talk shop, share ideas, exchange feedback, and make connections with those experiencing similar challenges and victories can conjure a whole lot of motivation and validation.
By connecting with other writers, you might encounter new ideas you never would have stumbled upon if you’d just been sitting in your head, grinding your gears all day. And I probably don’t have to tell you this, but being a writer isn’t easy! Sometimes it really sucks, and it helps to add another perspective to the mix when you’re having tough days at the keyboard.
Thankfully, not only is it beneficial, but it’s literally easier than it has ever been in the history of writing, thanks to this zany thing called the internet.
I’ve put together 7 of my favorite ways to connect with other writers below.
Let’s start with an easy one! Facebook groups are all the rage right now, and the number of groups that writers haunt is astounding. Of course, DJO has our own little group where we do fun, goal-based writing challenges, post online writing jobs for members to browse and find gigs through, and answer Q’s about everything related to the #writersstruggle! Yes, I’m partial to this particular group. But as always, find the one that’s perfect for you.
I’m beside myself to let you know that we’re in the beginning stages of planning our first-ever writing retreat series, which you can read about right here. Meanwhile, there are incredible active retreats happening all over the globe that serve as a safe space for writers to connect with one another and enjoy the camaraderie I mentioned above. Hit up google and be sure to narrow your search with locations or genres of writing you’re interested in.
It’s a different story when I’m working on branded content, but when it’s time to write fiction, there is absolutely nothing that lights a fire under my ass like a word count challenge. Link up with a fellow writer (or three) online and ask them to do a Word Sprint with you. You can make major progress on a project and then share work after an edit session for feedback. Hint: try this with people you don’t know, and you’ll likely get an even more constructive assessment (unless your writer besties are savage, in which case, seek their feedback regularly).
Host a Writer’s Brunch
This might be the Brooklyn girl in me talking, but is there really any better way to connect with other writers than to sip cocktails over sizzling hot shakshuka and talk for hours about everything you’ve been reading/writing lately? You can create a Facebook event, Meetup.com event or a listing on any local website you trust to get a group of writers together for a delicious, inspiring afternoon. If it goes well, why not make it a monthly affair?
Start a Blog
This might sound like it’s still skirting the lines of solitude, but I can tell you first-hand that starting a blog is one of the most amazing ways to meet people. Writing blog posts for my own and other brands’ blogs opened up more doors for me than any traditional networking could have after I graduated from Fashion School. From meeting other bloggers at events to connecting with brands and niche experts, my network exploded in a very short time. I also developed friendships with other bloggers and readers who left comments or re-shared my content on social.
Local Meetup Groups
Meetup.com has an epic amount of writing meetups listed for your to browse. Why not see what’s happening in your neighborhood? Plus, their recent ads on the subways in NYC actually reignited my interest in them as a platform, so I’ll be right there with you, clicking through potential tête-à-têtes.
Join a Mastermind
A “mastermind” might sound a little bit intimidating, but if you’re serious about your writing goals, don’t shouldn’t let it phase you! A mastermind is usually an intimate group of hand-selected people who decide to gather once per week (or whatever their schedules allow) to discuss their own work and give constructive, thoughtful feedback on the work of others. A good mastermind will contain people whose opinions you value, and members that have an active interest in the success of the other members. If you can’t find one, go ahead and start your own!
Which of these ways of connecting with other writers appeal to you?
Try some out—but start with the ones that really call to you right now. Only you know how much social mobility and accountability is going to benefit you right now. That said, if you feel excited when you’re reading any of these, or find yourself daydreaming about your new writer BBF’s, don’t hold back! Jump right in and start meeting writing peers as soon as possible.
This is one of my favorite topics, and I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
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