As I discussed last week, having a network of writers to help you through the writing process is essential. Why? Because writing, no matter what the form may be, is hard work. It tries you emotionally, mentally, and sometimes even physically in ways that only other writers will understand. Today, I want to give you some tips on connecting with writers online, because going out into the world isn’t always an option. Before we get started, I want to add a quick word of caution. ALWAYS be safe when initiating conversation with someone virtually. Use common sense, and never give out personal information. Alright, let’s get started. Here are five of the best ways to connect with other writers via the web.
Writing is hard work. You’re going to engage in a lot of antisocial behavior, ride some fictitious emotional roller coasters, and spiral down dark vortexes of self-doubt. The worst part is that not a single person in your life will understand, except… other writers! This is why connecting with writers is so incredibly important. As a writer, you are going to have days where you absolutely despise the writing process, and other times you are going to write something that is so brilliant you just HAVE to share it with someone who will, you know, care. That is where your writing friends come in. Here’s the challenge, though, how are you going to meet people when you are supposed to be locked away working on your project? Today, I want to talk about some of the ways you can meet writing friends in person. Not only will participating in these sorts of events and groups allow you to meet other writers, but they will also benefit your writing as a whole, so you don’t have to feel like you’re taking time from your writing to socialize (although doing that every once in a while is not a bad idea!). So let’s get into it. Here are five ways to connect with other authors.
Today I want to discuss the topic of reading journals. There are so many different ways and reasons to write a reading journal (that was relatively poetic and a bit of a mouthful). I want to give you my thoughts on this process and exactly why and how I think keeping a reading journal is helpful.
The planning phase of writing is one that I find essential. Some writers will disagree and say that it stifles the creative process to plan the plot of your piece ahead of time. However, I feel that the structure of your story will be tighter if you have a map, aka outline, to follow. Now, if you are one of those writers who finds that planning your work in advance just isn’t for you that is completely okay! I recognize that the writing process is unique to each writer. I still encourage you to continue reading, because today, I will be sharing my method, which can easily be adapted to help with a scene that is giving you trouble or with loose ends that you need to tie up. Basically, this method does not only work for the plotting and planning phases, but can also help you midway through your project, or even at the end.
Next week, I start a new internship, which I am thoroughly excited about. This has got me thinking back to that time of hunting through job posts and filling out applications. I’ve been reflecting a bit on what it takes to stand out from the crowd. I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the best ways to do this is by showcasing exceptional writing skills. So much of the application and even interview processes are dependent on your ability to write! I even had an interview that required a writing exercise to be completed prior to the face-to-face interview. This is good news for us writer folk since we get plenty of practice doing this on a regular basis. However, you may find that writing in a professional sphere is very different than creative writing and writing for fun. This isn’t to say that creative writing cannot be a profession! In fact, I hope to make one out of it someday. Rather, I am referring to the technical writing required by resumes and for most professional positions. In light of all the time I spent writing for job applications, I thought I’d lay out some quick tips for writing for this type of audience. These tips are very general guidelines, however, it is important, of course, to tailor all of these suggestions to the specific job that you are applying for. Which leads me to No. 1.
If you have moseyed on over to my little corner of the internet, odds are you are drawn to the written craft. Whether you’re an avid reader, a technical journalist, or a creative poet, you none the less gravitate towards written language. It is the way you choose to escape, reflect and communicate. I think it’s safe to say that all of us here have a passion for writing. But as a writer, I often find myself asking the age-old question. Why? Why do we write? Is it because we are insane? Is it due to the fact that we are told time and time anew how important it is to be able to write? Or is it because we simply aren’t good at anything else? No matter who you are as a writer, the question we get from everyone, ourselves included, always seems to be the same. Why write?