U is for Unity

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge–blogging every day in the month of April (except Sundays!) with each letter of the alphabet.

Being a writer is an oftentimes lonely, solitary pursuit. We spend a lot of time away from the world, hunched over a keyboard or notebook, lost in our own heads. Writing isn’t meant to be a social activity–it’s much easier to write in peace and quiet, away from people, than it is to say, sit in a bar with your friends on a Friday night and write. Though we may find ourselves writing in public at times, we still retreat from the world. We have to be able to listen to the voices in our heads instead of the voices of others.

This is the reason writers find ways to congregate when they’re not writing. We seek out the company and support of other writers in order to make friends and be understood. But where can you find other writers to hang out with? Here are a few suggestions:

Writing organizations: Many different organizations exist for writers, whatever your genre. I personally belong to the RWA and several sub-chapters that share my interests. Writing organizations often hold events and meetings during which their members can physically get together. They also have places to discuss many different topics online, such as mailing lists and chat rooms.

Conventions and conferences: Writing conferences are obviously a great place to meet writers, as well as other professionals in the industry. No matter what your interest there’s sure to be a convention for it–you can also meet readers there, who are the lifeblood of our profession.

Writing groups: Some writers belong to writing groups that meet every so often in the real world to share their work and talk shop. These can be immensely helpful and lead to making lifelong friends with other writers. Finding these groups isn’t always easy, but sometimes asking around both on and offline can lead to likeminded folks who want to help each other out. You might even want to start your own group.

Online: Socializing online can be just as beneficial. Look for writing groups on places like Yahoo!Groups, hang out on writing boards, join blog hops, and participate in Twitter chats. We’re all longing to connect, and the internet makes that immensely possible.

How about you, how do you socialize with other writers? Is shaking off the solitary side of writing from time to time important to you?

16 comments

  1. Try Meetup to find writing groups. Or start your own. That’s where I found my current writing group, and it’s great to get with a few other “touched” individuals.

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  2. Greetings human, Megan,

    My alleged human, Gary and I, superstar pawblishing dog, are not members of writing groups as such. Okay, the one exception would be the “Insecure Writer’s Support Group” aka “IWSG” aka, as my delusional human tells them on the site that it’s actually “I Was Seeking Gary.”

    Pawsonally, my alleged human and I don’t feel the need to get involved with writers. We are but a couple of smug amateurs.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny

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  3. I live in Poland as a native English speaker, so that means I have few opportunities to meet with other English-speaking (and writing) writers to “talk shop” and socialize. Thank goodness for social media. I’m beginning to feel the loneliness more and more, so I may have to move.

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  4. To be honest, I’ve never given this much thought. Discovering and doing the A-Z challenge this year is the first time I’ve ever really connected with other writers. I’ve been enjoying it, so I’ll likely do so again next year, and continue to visit many of the great blogs I’ve discovered till then.

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  5. Well, I certainly love the IWSG. I also get together with writers for coffee and lunch. As a playwright, I get to create a team to bring my stories to life. And, yes, there are times when I peace and quiet to write, but sometimes, I write at the coffee shop.
    Play off the Page

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  6. Yes, I socialize with other writes. It is important to make friends who are interested in what you do. I find it also pleasing to lose myself in the actual world as well as my private little writing one.

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