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?