Writing is a solitary hobby that can leave you feeling secluded and lost. When times get tough and you’re lacking the motivation to write, being alone can result in you giving up. The best thing to do in these times is to talk to other writers, others that know what you’re going through and what to say to help you get going again. Not only can these writers give you support, they’ll also be full of great writing tips and advice, and you can give them some too. Meeting others though can be hard, so here’s a few ways to get you started.
I find these the best way to meet other writers. You have to pay to get into writing conferences and festivals, which straight away tells you the people you’re meeting are serious about their writing. Not only will you be meeting many like-minded people at these events, you’ll also be spending the day learning about writing and publishing. If you want to meet writers of a specific genre there are some events that do focus purely on one genre, for example crime or fantasy. Make sure you talk to people and get their contact information too; most of these people will be just as eager to meet other writers as you are.
Facebook is full of writing groups that are open for anyone to join. These groups are for people to share their own work and give helpful critiques on other peoples. You can also ask for advice and generally you’ll get a nice, friendly response. I’ve only ever had one unpleasant experience with Facebook writing groups, so chances are you’ll be just fine.
Paying to attend workshops in your area can help you to meet lots of writers that are local to you whilst improving your writing. You’ll spend the entire workshop with people that are clearly interested in the same area of writing as you, or struggling in the same area, and this will create a bond that can keep you in touch long after the workshop is over. It can be really useful to make local contacts, as it will be easier to keep in touch or even to meet in person occasionally.
There are numerous writing groups in most cities, and to find them all you have to do is look hard. These will be groups of writers that meet once a month to share and critique their writing, usually based on similar genres. It’s nice to have these face to face meetings and deadlines as it will get you to write something rather than nothing each month.
Arvon Courses/ Writing Retreats
These are pretty expensive to go on, but if you can save the money they’re definitely worth it. You go live in a cottage or a villa or something like that for a week with other writers (often with food included) and spend the entire week writing and editing with the guidance of a professional writer or editor. The course itself will help you to get your novel written, whilst the people you meet could become your writing friends for life.
Most of the ways of meeting other writers costs money, but it’s worth it. The writing community is huge and everyone is very supportive of each other. Not only will being a part of it help with your writing, but it will also help you make friends with people you can really connect with. And in a few years, once your novel is written and published, you can help guide the newer writers to their success too.