When you’re sitting at your desk working on a story or an article, you don’t always notice that you’re all alone. Even writing in a noisy, busy newsroom requires you to focus your attention on whatever project you’re working on. Being able to focus is something that makes writers oblivious to the outside world.
No matter what you’re involved in, at some point, you look up and realize that you’re all alone except for maybe the dog or a plant. Because writing requires this type of intensity, it’s easy to forget that there is another world out there. While solitary is good for focusing, it is not so good for those social skills that you need in order to function away from your desk.
I confess that most of the time, I don’t want to leave my desk. I could happily write for hours on end without stopping, but that is not how the world works, so here are some things that you can do to get involved in other activities without losing your edge.
Join a Writer’s Guild
I am a member of the Author’s Guild and like to read the comments on the community bulletin board, learn about the latest trends in publishing and even join a seminar on banned books. Besides the Author’s Guild, there are numerous other groups that you can join.
Many of these groups are genre specific like the Romance Writers, Historical Fiction Writers, Western Writers, and so much more. If there is a genre, you will find a professional organization that has been established to answer any of your genre-specific questions.
In addition to organized groups like the guilds, there are loosely organized groups on social media platforms where people gather to discuss the pros and cons of whatever hot topic there is at the moment.
Not sure whether you want to self-publish? Don’t know if you should query more than one agent at a time? What is a hybrid author? You can usually find the answer to your writing and publishing questions in an online group.
Other online groups may be focused on writing software like Scrivener or The Novel Factory. Even Plottr has an online group. If you’re a copywriter, there are many groups focused on copywriting where projects and proposals are discussed.
Local Authors Groups
No matter where you live, there is probably a local author’s group nearby that you can join. These groups do more than offer conferences and conventions; they offer support in the community and are great for encouraging other members.
If you need help with a manuscript or are having a hard time finding the right beta reader, these members have been there and can help you move forward. Usually, dues are not expensive, and the benefits are well worth any membership fees.
Some working writers are tired of the loneliness of a home office and group together to do live Zoom meetings where they still work independently, but they have the option to look up and see others in their group also working.
This type of setting is an innovative idea that lets a solo worker feel like a part of a group without the hassles of going into an office or getting distracted by office antics. They also help keep each other accountable when it comes to meeting writing goals, word goals, and other milestones.
This type of peer-to-peer action can help keep a writer focused while eliminating some of the loneliness.
It doesn’t matter if you write fiction or non-fiction; if you’re a content creator or a copywriter, everyone needs to connect somewhere. I hope that you find the group that meets your needs.