In my last post, I talked about isolation as one of the four challenges we face as writers. Hopefully I’ve convinced you that even introverted writer-types need the occasional human contact for our well-being—especially contact with other writers.
And no, four legged furry friends don’t count!
But how do you find writerly humans to contact? Step #1 is to step outside your comfort zone and start looking. Here are some possible places to connect:
SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) offers a myriad of resources for connecting writers.
- Local conferences and other events offer opportunities for you to meet other writers living in your area
- National conferences are a great place to meet like-minded writers and form your own online critique group
Classes: check out your local Continuing Education program for a writing class that interests you. In addition to learning something, you’ll get to know other local writers—this is a great place to recruit critique group members.
Online Resources such as news groups, listserves, blogs, and Twitter provide a spot for writers to touch base with one another. You’re not necessarily going to manage full-length conversations via blog comments or Twitter chat, but it’s a great place to connect for encouragement, accountability, and reality checks. Here are a few of my favorites:
- For accountability and encouragement:
- Inkygirl’s daily word count challenge
- Book in a Week: challenge runs the first week of the month—set your own goal and keep motivated with daily check-ins and writing prompts
- National Novel Writing Month: provides word counter and plenty of daily encouragement during November
- For industry and craft discussions:
- The “Blue Board” – Verla Kay’s message board for Children’s Writers and Illustrators
- Children’s Book Insider’s message boards (aka the famous “Yellow Board”; you must be a member/CBI subscriber to use this feature)
- Children’s Writing listserve: on Yahoo groups; must sign up with Yahoo (free) and join group to participate (also free, but prevents SPAM)
- NFforKids listserve: also on Yahoo groups, discussion group for all topics related to nonfiction writing for children