In a recent post, I discussed writing as a full-time career and the things to consider before taking the plunge. Several published authors commented to my blog post and shared their personal thoughts on the subject. To my surprise, none of them discussed the financial strains of writing for a living; instead, they focused on social isolation as the main frustration. To me, this would seem a small drawback compared to financial insecurity, but when you consider the implications of social isolation, it makes sense. Think about it. Writing is a solitary process that can be very frustrating at times. It demands a lot of time and self-sacrifice. Unless writers have support at home, they often become depressed, lonely, and discouraged. Even with support from loved ones, a writer can feel alone, like being strandard on an island with only a laptop for company. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The internet has made it easier than ever for writers to connect with like-minded and supportive individuals and build an online community!
Facebook is a good place to start. You can create an individual profile that includes information about yourself, your writing, etc. Many people use Facebook to connect with family and friends, so why not use Facebook to connect with other writers and readers? You can also join or create a Facebook group. Facebook has a new messenger feature that allows friends to chat to one another in real time.
Twitter is probably the most popular social networking site being used by writers. It’s easy to gain a large following and share resources. Many writers use Twitter for promotion and advertising of their writing, but it’s more beneficial to focus on networking. There is a private message option, but most interaction happens on the timeline in real time.
Blogging is a great outlet for writers to share information, vent frustrations, and discuss all things writerly (Is that a word?). WordPress and other blog sites allow writers share their thoughts and ideas in more depth. It’s a great way to build a readership and an online community. Interact by commenting on other bloggers’ posts, inviting others to guest blog on your site, and by conducting interviews of other authors. The more interactive you are on a blog site, the more engaged your readers will be.
Online Groups such as WANAtribe and The Insecure Writer’s Support Group are also great places for writers to connect and share resources, as well as frustrations. These websites often include forums and online chat features that enable members to share ideas and chat in real time. These sites often invite guest authors to host workshops and question/answer sessions free to members. Plus, you’re part of a membership!
With so many options, there is no reason why a writer should have to go it alone. So, gather your coconuts, grab your old pal Wilson, and get on the raft before the isolation drives you mad. There’s an online community waiting for you to join!
I hope you found this post helpful, or at least enjoyable. As always, feel free to leave a comment. Feedback is always welcome.