On Writing Communities | Writing Video Wednesday

Hey everyone! This week, I’m talking about the importance of writing communities. Also, happy 4th of July to everyone in the USA!

You can watch the video here.

Transcript of the video:

Hey everyone, it’s author, Sara Crawford, and I’m here today with a writing video for you.

So November is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, but in April and July, they do CampNaNoWriMo. So while in November, the goal is to write 50,000 words in a month, CampNaNoWriMo is a little looser. So really the objective is just to set a specific goal–I want to write 30,000 words, I want to write 50,000 words, I want to write this series of short stories or poems, I want to spend this many hours writing or editing, whatever it is–the objective is just to set a goal and then meet it. And then they put you into little groups or “camps” on their website and you can all talk and support each other through the process.

So I am starting this. Unfortunately, I am still working on the project that I was working on in April and that is book three of THE MUSE CHRONICLES. You can see books one and two behind me. But I was starting with CampNaNoWriMo and also I’ve been in this class called Write. Submit. Support. with The Writing Barn over the past six months, and that class was coming to a close, and then, I was reading this book, The Creative Life by Julia Cameron, and all three of those things got me thinking about writing communities and the importance of writing communities. So I wanted to make a video today talking about that.

So this book (The Creative Life), the marketing is a little misleading because it says “Finding your true north” so it makes you think it’s going to be about how to be creative or how to live a creative life, but it’s actually more of like a creative diary, sort of just like a few months in the life of Julia Cameron, who is the bestselling author of The Artist’s Way. And one of the things that I really got out of this book was the importance of having that community of creatives and having people to bounce your ideas off and having friends you can turn to for support when going through the times that we all go through as writers. Most of us writers are very sensitive, emotional people. Most of us are very self-critical and we all have days where we think everything we’re writing is horrible, and we just need to turn to each other for support.

Writing is a very solitary act. You do it alone. It’s pretty much just you in a room with your computer or typewriter or a notebook or whatever. (I don’t know. Does anybody still use typewriters?) Anyway, so it can feel like you’re alone and you’re isolated, but that’s just not true. And now I’m not really talking about like a critique group or people you can turn to for feedback, which is also necessary and good, but I’m talking more about a writing community or a community of creative people that you can turn to for support in times when you need it because writing is hard. Writing a book is hard, and there are going to be days when you just really need some support to get through it.

I am encouraging all of you to find your own writing communities. You can go on sites like MeetUp.com and find an in-person writing community in most cities. There are lots of writing communities online. There are lots of different groups on Facebook that you can join. You can do things like CampNaNoWriMo. You can join in conversations on Twitter and Instagram using hashtags like #amwriting or #writerslife. There’s a thriving community of writers on YouTube called Authortube. There are tweet chats that people do. Tamarra Woods does one called #writestuff. It’s on Tuesday nights. That one’s really fun.

So those are just a few places you can turn to to find a community of writers, but I would definitely encourage it because it’s just really comforting to know that there are other people going through the exact same thing that you are, and you can laugh together and cry together and celebrate each other when something good happens. You get an agent, you publish a book, you are number one in your category on Amazon. Whatever it is, it’s nice to have people who can celebrate with you and really understand what you’re going through. Even just the act of writing and creation itself, having people that understand that can be really nice.

Okay so that’s all I have for you today. What do you guys think about writing communities? Are any of you part of any writing communities that you really like? I would love to hear about it. I participate in a number of online writing communities, but I’m making it my goal during CampNaNoWriMo this month to get out to one of the in-person writing sprints that happen near me. There’s one they do at a coffee shop that I like to go to. So I can be kind of a hermit sometimes, and I’m challenging myself to get out to that one. Are any of you guys doing CampNaNoWriMo? I would love to hear about that as well. Don’t forget to subscribe if you would like to see more videos. I do a writing video every Wednesday, and then sometimes I talk about my favorite music on Fridays. Thanks for watching. I will see you in the next video.