Sunday, August 29, 2010

Writing Communities

Writing Communities
for New or Experienced Writers
by CJ Heck

I've had many beginning writers and poets contact me over the years. Most just want simple reassurances. They want to know if their work is good, if it's good enough to get published, and if it isn't, how they can improve their writing skills -- I can certainly relate to what they're feeling.

There's nothing worse than having a burning desire to write, pouring heart and soul into a poem or story, and then wondering ... is it any good? How can I improve how I write? Am I just spinning my wheels? There's also no better feeling than having someone say they appreciate how you write and what you say -- and, if they see where improvements can be made, offer helpful suggestions. I can only speak from my own experience, but I want to help new writers find their assurances -- and constructive help, too, if they need it.

When I started writing a decade ago, I didn't know anyone who had been published. I had done a lot of writing, but I had no one to ask whether I was looking at a possible writing career, or if I had merely found a new hobby to enjoy ... so I went online and joined several writing communities.

Most of the communities have several categories where you can submit your writing: poetry, fiction, short stories, essays, blogs and articles, to name a few. The poetry in most of them is even further broken down into genre categories: children's, erotica/sensual/adult, religious/spiritual, humorous, rhyming, prose poetry, etc.

The real power behind joining a writing community is just that -- being part of a community where everyone is writing and learning about writing. There is feedback on your work when you post it in the form of comments and critiques, both those you give to others, and those you receive; poetry and writing forums; it's an avenue to showcase your work, and yourself, through personal profiles and biographies -- not to mention, joining them creates name recognition, too, for when you DO get something published. People from all over the world will be familiar with who you are and your work. You'll also make lasting friendships with people who have the same interest that you do -- writing.

If you are already published, whether online or with a book or books, it's a good way to help you promote your published work. Some communities allow you to list the titles of your books and where they are available for sale -- an excellent tool for marketing you, and your books!

Here are a few of the writing communities I would suggest:

Authors Den (My Favorite)
The Arcanum Cafe
Worthy of Publishing

I hope this helps!
Happy writing and good luck!

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1 comment:

Amy ;) said...

Thank you CJ, I think I'll look into some of these, especially for my sabbatical.