Groucho Marx once said that he wouldn’t join any organization that would have him as a member. Fortunately, writers welcome other practitioners of the craft to their ranks. One reason why now is the best time ever to be a writer is that there are more ways to connect with other writers than ever. Nothing will be more valuable to you than a community of writers who share your goals and challenges and who can advise you about writing, agents, publishers, and promotion. Writers need each other more than ever.
After two posts on critique groups, a reader asked about finding a critique group if you’re new in town. Here’s one way: meetup.com lists writing groups. Type “meetup writing [and your city]” in a search engine, and they come up.
But this is part of a larger question: whether you’re new in town or not, how do you join the writing community?
In a word: ask!
- You can ask writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, book reviewers, writing teachers, freelance editors, and book publicists.
- Ask your friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
- You can ask at writing and author events, writing classes and conferences.
- You can ask your friends on Facebook and your peeps on Twitter and other social networks. Googling “social networks for writers” yields 12,000,000 links for sites like Red Room.
- You can ask at businesses you patronize.
- Since writers participate in reading groups, you can search online for reading groups in your town.
- You can also be entrepreneurial and start a group. If you need a place to meet, at least to get organized, bookstores and libraries are logical places to try. Schools, churches, and other nonprofits are alternatives. A bank or another business with a conference room may be willing to host the group, especially if a member works there.
If you don’t have a collaborator, you’re writing alone. But you can create a continually growing community of writers and others to help you the rest of the way. Writers who are eager and able to help you are waiting for you to find them. Start now.