Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Community Ties

This morning, I completed a whole novel critique for one of the members of a small writing/support group I belong to on Facebook (shoutout to the lovely ladies of the #SFWG!) and it occurred to me what a wonderful opportunity the internet has given me.

I'm currently part of several writing communities, some virtual, some physical, and all important to my development as a writer.

For many, many years, I was an active moderator at Wild Poetry Forum. I found WPF when I was the young mother of 2, working full time, and trying to write something--anything--in the margins of my life. I had no flexibility to look for a local writing group and having access to a community of poets from across the globe and a place to post work for review meant I could participate in the time I could carve from my crazy life.

When I started to work on novel-length fiction, I stumbled into Forward Motion for Writers and quickly found a critique group there. It lasted for several years and I am still in contact with many of the members of the group. In fact, the artist (Jade Zivanovic) who designed and created the cover for THE BETWEEN was originally a member of that writing group. She is from Australia. I live in the US. Without FMWriters, I would never have had the great good fortune to work with her.

Another one of my communities emerged from a local workshop I took about 6 years ago. The Ultimate Science Fiction Writing Workshop introduced me to a group of local writers and after the formal workshop was over, we've stayed in touch using a combination of real-life meetups and an internet message board. In fact, it is from that group that the PEN-ULTIMATE anthology emerged from.

The #SFWG is a small community of writers--most of whom write historical fiction, though they let me play in their sandbox. :) #SFWG (and what it stands for is a secret!) is as much a private space to gripe, a place to share sorrows and triumphs, as it is a critique group. The wonderful ladies who make up this group know how much I appreciate their support this past year.

Another kind of community is what I call my 'water cooler': Google Plus. Over the past 2 years, I have grown to really appreciate the ability to hang out and talk 'shop' with a community of writers and artists there. When you work from home, alone, but for the company of two shelter dogs, it becomes crucial to have other folks to talk to.

I feel extremely fortunate to very literally have the world at my fingertips. Writing can be a very lonely endeavor. My myriad communities make my life so much more vibrant.

Today's blogpost is part of FMWriter's Merry-Go-Round Blog tour. To see what dozens of other writers from one of my communities have to say about their communities, this month's topic, check out the blog tour hub. 

1 comment:

  1. It's important to have a good community of support. It's even better when friendships develop long after the group ends.