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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Only Connect: Do Writers Need Community?

Being a writer can be very isolating endeavor. Sure, we try to talk to our spouses, partners and goldfish about it but they can only relate to a limited sympathetic or supportive degree. Where does a writer turn for community -and is building community important?

The Wave-inatrix feels that relating other writers is a crucial part of a writer’s mental health and development as a writer. Joining a writing group in your area can be a god-send. You might make life-long friends or you might simply meet some kindred souls that once a week, take the focus off of you and your particular frustration.

You can join online communities, such as:

Done Deal

Wordplayer

Absolute Write

TriggerStreet

And if you meet someone at these online communities that you click with - meet them in person. Have coffee. And begin to create not a virtual, but a real community. Dare the Wave-inatrix dream that writers might even be able to create relationships here at the Rouge Wave? This blog obviously doesn't support a message board, but Wavers are always free to leave comments and/or exchange contact information through the Wave-inatrix.

You also might take a local writing class or attend a weekend seminar or conference, like the upcoming Creative Screenwriting Expo or the many ongoing offerings at the UCLA extension Writer’s Program. The Wave-inatrix has ammassed a formidable and satisfying writing community - but I have done all of the above and it's taken some time. There is no quick solution, in other words. You will have to put yourself out there and make effort.

Even if you’re not a particularly social person, hanging out with other writers, virtually or in person can lend much-needed perspective to what can otherwise be a maddeningly process. Why operate in a vacuum when you can vent, advise or otherwise commiserate with kindred spirits with whom you can share the experience of putting soul to paper?

Don’t stay up in your turret suffering because you are a writer. Move your body, create community and cultivate relationships. You won’t regret it.

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2 comments:

Matt Hader said...

The Writer's Store has also ramped up www.storylink.com.

Geena said...

Miss Wave-inatrix, you should write a post on how two or more
people can meet read each others material and all walk away better writers.
I'm sure you run a tight classroom.

Otherwise you just have chaos and may loose a good writing comrade
Until I saw how a pro runs a screenwriting class, I was clueless on how
two people make each other better writers.
I saw this at Expo and was like Yeah! This is learning!

- You need a moderator, take turns
- Everyone has a chance to have their first 1-3 pages read.
The group then comments on what they like, what works.
Then on what is unclear, what could be improved.
You can break it up into format, mood, and page turn juice.
- Everyone could also bring in one page from an online script
that they like and explain why. Hand it out or bring it up
on a laptop.

Think up other agreed upon ways to exchange information and ideas.
Trade web links. Set an agenda, otherwise it's like a blind date.
And we all know some guys are in these groups just to meet chicks!

I live in Midtown Atlanta. Would be glad to meet up with other writers
on weekends who have a true desire to learn and share,
with a goal of creating industry quality material.
I am also hoping to create a local equivelant of SOCAL film group
socalfilm.com. Go to the link you'll see what I mean..