Writing is a solitary occupation. Unless you’re co-writing a book, a writer must tackle the project alone, getting words on paper/screen until the work is done. Then comes the polishing and the submission process, which is also essentially something that is done alone.
If you’re feeling alone or lacking support from your nearest and dearest joining a writing community is the answer.
So why do I think writing communities are so great?
1. Networking – a community gives you the chance to meet likeminded people who are going through exactly the same trials as you. They “get” what you go through during the writing of a book.
2. Opportunities to attend conferences – writing communities often organize conferences with guest speakers and more opportunities to network with other writers. These conferences can be either in person or online.
3. Opportunities to pitch to agents and editors.
4. Market information – Communities pool information and are excellent places to learn about the various publishers or self-publishing.
5. Opportunities to learn with online classes
6. Opportunities to learn from guest speakers
7. Making friends and finding critique partners
But I can’t afford to join a community. What then?
While it’s true that communities like Romance Writers of America and the RWA chapters cost money to join, but there are others out there that are free or have a basic level of membership that is free.
Absolute Write and the Absolute Write Water Cooler Forum—lots of information for writers of all genres.
Romance Divas – mainly for romance writers. The Divas forum is periodically closed to new members, so you might need to check back. Lots of market information for traditional and self-published authors.
Savvy Authors – they have basic membership for free and premium membership for $30 per year. They run excellent online courses and have lots of opportunities to pitch to editors and agents.
Other writing communities
Romance Writers of America - This is the biggest community if you're a romance writer. Once you join the RWA you can also join your local chapter or a special interest chapter as well.
If you live in Australia, Britain or New Zealand all have groups especially for romance writers.
Romance Writers of Australia http://www.romanceaustralia.com/
Romance Writers of New Zealand http://www.romancewriters.co.nz/
Romance Novelists Association http://www.rna-uk.org/
Are you a member of a writing community? If so, which one and what made you join?
Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand with her husband and a rambunctious puppy. Her next release is Past Regrets, an erotic contemporary romance from Samhain Publishing. If you would like to learn more about Shelley and her books visit her website at www.shelleymunro.com