I’ve read a lot of books, magazines, and online articles about being a writer. They give all kinds of advice from buying a tiny house to use as your own “writing space” to having two laptops -one for distractions and one for writing. But, one piece of advice almost all of these resources give is to find a writing group.
Easier said than done.
Writers are like unicorns. They exist in worlds that are part myth and part reality. They’re difficult to find in the wild. And they can be a little…different.
So, I’m going to share ways that I’ve had success finding writing groups in my area. It’s amazing what accountability can do for motivation. Plus, hearing other writers’ struggles and ideas can inspire you to be better at your craft.
1. Download the Meetup app.
I found this app as I was searching for a writing community in my area. I was surprised to see several groups pop up (not to mention some non-writing groups that looked interesting) and joining was as easy as hitting a button. Of course, you do have to show up after that. In person. Plus, if there’s no group created yet, you can be the first and see if anyone else jumps on the writing train with you.
2. Use your connections.
You may not think you have connections, but chances are, you do. Try reaching out to professors or other writers you know to see what communities they’re involved in. This is how I found the first writing group I joined, which I am still part of today. That group created more connections that led to other groups and even more opportunities.
3. Check local cafés or bars (or, you know, libraries).
This depends on where you live. I grew up in a small town, so I fully understand the struggle of not even having a local café. If that’s you, I’m sorry. However, if you live in a more populated area, you never know what might be available to you. Check flyers hung in the windows, read bulletin boards, and when all else fails, just ask.
4. Join an online community.
I personally haven’t done this, but for those of you in the “no local café” situation I mentioned earlier, this option is great for you. In a world ruled by FaceTime, Skype, and various online collaborative platforms, there’s really no excuse. Check out this NY Book Editors blog post for some ideas to get you started. That’s a great blog, P.S. by the way.
5. When all else fails, do a general Google search.
If even Google comes up with nothing, I think it’s safe to assume that you should go the online route.