You Need to Join a Writing Community

An interesting idea is coming out of Detroit

Will Detroit house the next Harlem Renaissance, Algonquin Roundtable, or Bloomsburg Group? It’s certainly possible.A rising nonprofit called “Write A House” is raising funds for their “Writer In-Residence Program”, where the winner of the residency gets to keep the house- Free of Charge.

The Writer in me is intrigued (getting in on the ground floor of a burgeoning artistic community!) The Real Estate Baron in me is, of course, salivating (Although when it comes to real estate, free homes are usually the most expensive). My practical side, however, is somewhat concerned. There are a lot of reasons someone wouldn’t want to live in Detroit, but for now, let’s just say I don’t like cold weather.

Still, it’s an exciting idea. Writing can be a solitary venture, but humans are social creatures and even the smallest bit of feedback can make the long process of writing a novel go that much faster.

I meet with a great group, Agile Writers, every Wednesday night. The people there have become my second family. They keep me grounded, and tell me when my work needs a second, third, or five hundredth rewrite. We’re all pre-published authors, and we’re all going through the same struggles. You don’t realize how much it means to have back-up until you try to do something alone.

I also organize a “Write-In” most Saturday mornings, where people are free to bring their laptops and/or notepads to a local cafés (Usually a Starbucks or Panara Bread) and just write. Sometimes we talk about issues or ideas, but I find that simply being around other people is inspiring on its own.

That’s why I recommend every writer- whether you’re a poet, journalist, blogger, or novelist, connect with others in your shoes. Here are some of the best places to do it.

Meetup. This site is great for those who want to get out of the house and meet-up with other creative types in person. Look for local groups in your neighborhood. Can’t find one? Start one!

Writer’s Café. This is an online writing community where writers can post their work, get reviews, and befriend other writers. There are tons of online communities and it’s tough to know which ones are worth your time. These are also well regarded:

Google Plus. Membership has its advantages. Professionals from every field meet here to discuss, engage, and collaborate. There’s Google+ Hangout (Similar to Skype), where lots of online book clubs or author groups meet for “face-to-face” interaction. There’s also the Google Authorship Program, where you can post content and grow your audience over time (Make sure you become a verified Google Plus Author). With the power of Google behind it, I have no doubt that Googe+ will become an exciting destination sometime soon. Note: I will have another blog post on Google+ in the near future, as I’m still discovering its possibilities.

Click here to donate to “Write-A- House.” And as always, keep writing!

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.


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