Writing is one of those things that can be a lone task. We’re in our heads creating plots and developing characters, figuring out how to paint pictures with words others can read, see, and feel. But does writing have to be an introverted undertaking? Of course not.
As mentioned in Lisa J. Jackson’s post about meeting other writers, there are a plethora of avenues online and local for writers to connect. This can be great for support and feedback as well as developing professional and social relationships. But is online more beneficial than off?
My interactions thus far have been online. WordPress, Goodreads, Scribophile, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association are a few of my go tos. Each filled with talented writers and authors who aren’t afraid to ask for or share help, which is absolutely wonderful. What I also glean is industry info so I can stay abreast, tips to enhance my writing skills, and just good ol’ hob-knobbing. So what more could I need?
Bella in Bristol’s post on sharing your writing makes valid points on why local groups are needed as well:
- Staying online or in a bubble may create a disconnect from reality (how believable or relatable could our works be if that happened?),
- Social interactions can be encouraging and exhilarating, and
- Reading in front of a group can aid with public speaking and catching flaws in the work.
These are things that may be missed in online communities in addition to the misunderstanding or lack of tone, body language, and physical proximity. I know that sounds odd because we’re writers. Using words to create vivid images is our schtick, but there are limitations.
So when considering my 2016 resolutions, I knew joining a local group had to be among the goals – not as a replacement of my online communities, but rather expand upon resources.
Overall, online communities and local groups each serve a purpose and have a place in the writing world. They are avenues to help us be our best. Whether a writer chooses one over the other, none, or both is a matter of preference. And there’s nothing wrong with that.