Writing can be a lonely job. From research to plotting to the writing itself. (Not to mention revisions.) But that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. A network of fellow writers can provide the advice, encouragement, and accountability you need. To build your network of writing friends and literary sages, use these 6 tips:
Whether local or national, whether for general fiction or genre-specific, a writers association is a great way to meet others who are also looking to build their writing network. Here’s a list of them put together by writersandeditors.com. You can find more by doing an internet search with “writers organization” + keywords specific to your genre and audience.
Conferences can be held at local, regional, and national levels. Some are geared toward writing in general, such as the Florida Writers Conference, while others may be geared toward a specific audience, such as Killer Nashville (for thriller and suspense writers) or the numerous SCBWI conferences (for writers and illustrators of children’s literature). This searchable directory by Association for Writers and Publishers can help find the right one for you.
Whether a one-day workshop or a semester-long course, taking a class is an excellent way to meet other writers who are looking to learn more about the craft—a definite plus in creating your network.
It’s no surprise that book readings are highly populated with writers. Search for one in your area, come early, and strike up a conversation. Who knows, you might find your next critique partner there.
Even if you avoid social media for your personal life, it’s a shouldn’t-miss opportunity for you to connect with other writers. In addition to online forums hosted by professional organizations, there are some great Facebook groups and Twitter chats for writers to hang out at.
Here’s a list of Facebook groups for writers from thewritelife.com.
I also strongly recommend trying out a chat on Twitter (join in or just “listen”). Here’s where to find out some of the best ones out there for writers (know that things can change quickly on Twitter though, so these could change).
Most important, be sure to share your knowledge and talents with others. Offer to read an opening chapter, share what you learned in a writing workshop, or loan out a good book on writing, and you’ll become part of the cherished writing network in someone’s else life.