Thursday, 5 July 2012

Join A Writing Community

Writing can be extremely lonely, isolating in fact. So, for myself, a stay at home mum who is unable to attend her local writing group due to family ties etc, I've learned to embrace the internet.

Up until last year I was studying with the Open University. It turned out to be a fabulous experience - very demanding and even tough at times but I simply loved the camaraderie emanating from the online forums. During my time there I also indulged my writing passion with both Creative Writing courses. They were the best times and the forums we had were buzzing with our poetry/stories/scripts, all giving and receiving critiques.

After graduating it was as if I had been cut off and set adrift. No more forums for me. Pure silence. My Masters had to be abandoned on the basis of unaffordability! I'm still gutted about that. Having become accustomed to having literary peers to lean on, I've recently joined an online writers forum. It seems to be a friendly place filled to the rafters with people like myself (first time novelists), creative writing tutors/lecturers and published authors. There's mountains of information, advice and support and you can ask as many questions as you wish. You also get to hear of any events and competitions that are happening so on the surface, I'm rather happy.

At least now I can get some critiques on my own work. Of course, I will be an active member of the group, offering my own critique services to others. That's how it works but it's amazing how much you can learn from others so it's always a worthwhile exercise. It's all part of networking, a word that crops up all of the time but it's an essential role of being a published writer. So, not only must you be able to write well, you must also be able to sell yourself. Hmm, it's certainly a challenge. I'm fairly certain I'd make a hopeless sales person but at least with writing your work kind of speaks for itself, to a degree.