Writing is a hobby that allows you to express your creativity through the word choices you make to portray your thoughts. Whether you are only interested in pursuing writing as a hobby, or you dream about making money from your skills by writing a book or doing freelance writing work, online writing groups are an excellent tool for improving your skills. Below are just a few of the things you can gain by actively participating in an online writing group.
Feedback from Other Writers
When you think about writing, the first thing you probably picture is the process of putting your words down on paper (or on the computer screen, more likely). But most professional writers would argue that the magic happens during the revision stage, in which words, sentences, and paragraphs are added, edited, and omitted to ensure that the message is clear and cohesive.
While this is certainly something you can (and should!) do on your own, getting feedback from others will help even more. No matter how many times you proofread what you have written, a fresh set of eyes can bring a new perspective. And because people participating in these communities are writers as well, they will be able to provide expert advice on how to improve your writing.
Accountability to Others
No matter how much you enjoy writing, almost every writer has put off completing a project or has experienced writer’s block. When the only deadlines are the ones that you set for yourself, it’s easy to put them off when you don’t feel like writing. But if you are participating in online writing groups–and you tell others when you expect to complete the next chapter of your book–you now have a reason to complete the work on time. This accountability can drive you to keep writing, even when it’s difficult.
Networking Within the Writing Community
Building a network of contacts and colleagues is one of the keys to success in any industry. If you ever hope to publish your own book or become a freelance writer, you need to build your own network within the writing community. By creating friendships with other writers in online writing groups, you can establish a network of people who can give you information about important leads and contacts for writing jobs. .
Learning from Others
As you get comfortable networking within online writing groups, you’ll likely be asked by others to critique their work as well. Just as an artist studies the work of other artists, you can learn a lot by reading and evaluating things written by others. Note how they structure their thoughts and select words that are different than what you would naturally use. This experience can also prepare you for work in editing, which is another way you may wish to pursue a writing career.
A Few Online Writing Communities to Check Out
If you search for “online writing groups,” you will find several to choose from. Take time to look into what makes each group different. Find out their rules, procedures, and specialties to find the online writing community that best suits you. Here are a couple of online writing communities that you can check out to get started:
Scribophile – Scribophile is a friendly community in which writers can receive thoughtful critiques, share their writing experiences, and learn how to get published.
WritersCafe.org – At WritersCafe.org, you can receive feedback on your poetry, short stories, novels, scripts, and screenplays. You can also enter your work into free writing contests.
Writing is a form of art that you can practice and improve throughout your life. By participating in online writing communities, you can hone your craft while fulfilling your passion for writing. Enjoy!
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