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April 13, 2012

I have thought about community in terms of this blog and WordPress and writing in general. Communities are generally speaking (in my humble opinion) a Good Thing.

They foster the sharing of ideas. Some writers, like myself, write in isolation. When I say isolation, I do not mean in a cardboard box, in a locked room, at the top of the tallest tower, guarded by a monster with three heads (and each one is more irritable than the last…) I mean away from writer’s groups, conventions, convenient workshops. This makes learning, improving or honing skills with peers difficult. Having a blog such as this, or belonging to one of the myriad writer’s communities online takes away that barrier. People can come together trading information freely.

They encourage growth and bring shy writers out of their shell. Who has not been there? You have a freshly written work that you enjoyed creating, what to do? A community will usually have one or more people with some free time to beta read your work. If it is a good community, they will provide an honest critique of the Work, not the Writer. An important distinction to be sure. Hopefully you get honest and useful feedback to improve your work. I think of all the things I have learned participating at Quantum Muse in terms of technical issues.

They also encourage the publishing/sharing of the work. A lot of writers may be shy about presenting the work to a group. Better a small community than the world at large. Let’s take little steps, no need to try to run headlong at first. This allows a newcomer the chance to warm up to sharing with a larger audience. The community by and large will also help protect the writer from unkind and unnecessarily harsh critics.

They spark ideas and new patterns of thought. A community can help a writer blossom and open the doors for them creatively. An idea suggested may snowball into a larger work, a new direction you had not foreseen or solidified an idea you already had, but were unsure about. You learn new ways of approaching problems and solving them. You can usually get an idea of how well a concept may be received by passing it through a community or group.

They are on your side. Communities will circle the wagons around members should the need arise. At least, that is how a good, functional community ought to behave. I have found that members genuinely look out for each other’s best interests. They as individuals act as they would like to be treated (that Golden Rule in action.)  Honestly is there a better feeling than helping someone out and then having that goodwill come back?

Anyhow, that’s just my thoughts on Community, as it might apply to a writer. Do you have any thoughts about it? Let us know, leave a comment and join the conversation.

Thanks for reading.


p.s. Short status update: Chapter four is loaded and ready to go. I am working on Chapter 5 edits and about half way through writing the first part of Chapter 6. Onwards!


From → Writing

  1. Since I started blogging, I’ve realised how important it is to network with like-minded folks. The great thing is that it doesn’t feel like we are all competing against each other. It’s been nothing but encouragement since day 1 and that has built my confidence as a writer. I bet everyone else feels the same way which is such a good thing. Great post.

    • Glad you feel that way. All I need to improve is a healthy peer group. People who are willing to share ideas and offer useful critiques. And like you, so far, everyone has been so very kind.

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