Writing Community

I have heard a lot of other writers talk up their writing community. Still not sure how to find one.

Community

Maybe it’s because I’m a closet writer. I not only don’t broadcast my writing, I actually go out of my way to keep it a secret from most people that know me. I met my husband in a writing class over a decade ago, but that was all that class had to offer. No one else in the class ever gave useful critiques (neither did DH, not really, but he always made me laugh in class, so I gave him my number anyway), and most of their work was . . . Well, I’m sure mine was the same, but none of us were really helping anyone else get better. Not even the professor.

After the class ended, I didn’t look for another. Partially because the first was not very helpful, but also because I started an MBA program not long after while still working my day job. Meaning, I gave up writing altogether. After I completed the program, I started writing again, but we also started talking about a family.

Fast forward to today. And add kids to the mix.

I don’t have a lot of me time, especially with two little ones. The time I do have is precious. I want to make it count, both in giving and receiving critiques.

I tried Critters.org as they have a Romance section and Mariah over at 600 Seconds recommended it on her blog. She’s a Sci Fi writer, and she has offered me a lot of excellent guidance on my writing journey (one of the reasons I know a good writing community is so helpful!).

Critters looks fabulous if you’re also a Sci Fi writer.

Romance was another story. There was one manuscript for me to critique in the entire Romance genre the first week. One. I read it and critiqued it. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the level I was expecting, either. The second week I received another one to critique, and it was . . . I don’t have words for it. I couldn’t even follow what was happening, and it wasn’t a romance story. More like a YA rip-off of Hunger Games. Not completely sure, though, as I didn’t read Hunger Games.

In the last two months, I haven’t received another to critique.

I haven’t bothered to submit my own. Maybe I should. Maybe there are a horde of Romance writers out there just waiting for something to give a quality critique. Based on the first two submissions I critiqued being listed there for multiple weeks due to low response rates, I think not.

Perhaps I need to look elsewhere. Not sure where.

I thought about joining RWA, but I’m not sure it’ll be worth the fees to join. Or the time commitment to go to the meetings.

I started to poke around on the internet, but “oooh, shiny flashy things” distracted me. And I never found much for romance writers, much less fantasy romance.

Probably need to come out of my comfort zone a bit more, put myself out there more. Just not sure how.

5 thoughts on “Writing Community

  1. Yeah Critters is great for sff but the rest of the genres don’t seem to be that much of a thing.

    http://www.scribophile.com/
    This site I hear good things about. A couple of the people who I did the camp NaNo with were involved and they were romance writers. It might be worth looking at. But I don’t think that Critters has a big base of anything other than sff.
    (Which is why you’d be more likely to get a hunger games like piece (which was YA so…take that as you will) than a straight up romance.)
    You could try the NaNo forums. Though…I’m not really 100% even though it is on my regular “social media roundup” of trying to make it through doing at least one thing. I feel like sometimes I get to be helpful to people (which I love), sometimes I’m ignored (which is sort of ok), and sometimes people get weirdly hostile if you don’t love their idea/question/whatever. I think there is value in learning to cope with some of those things. But I’m not sure how much.
    I don’t know that I have a Community. More like this is a whole bunch of places I go, and these are people I try to get feedback from (and hey, a lot of times that fails, but learning to get better at failing helps me feel more prepared for the rejection and bad reviews), and places I try to interact with. It is more of a cobbling together.

    What I’m trying to say is I sure don’t have it figured out! Learning is hard and valuable. Good luck.

  2. I found my writers group on Meetup.com. This site offers everything under the sun to join to become engaged in life and find people with common interests to do activities with. My writers group meets twice a month and we read a chapter out loud and then the group tells you what they think–constructively and nicely. No damn-girl-that-totally-sucked stuff. Not all groups are like this, though. You just have to attend one and observe at first.

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