I’m a busy woman. With responsibilities to my work and my family, there was just no way for me to join a traditional local writer’s community outside of my home, so I joined one inside my home. Two weeks ago, I joined a public community called Writer’s Discussion Group owned and operated by John Ward. This new feature, called Communities, was rolled out to users on Google+ to help users connect with each other based on their interests. The member count, upon my arrival, was just under seven hundred; now it is closing in on four thousand. It is in the top one hundred and fifty most popular communities on Google+. I’m sure John would like to fall to his knees and scream, “WHY ME!?” many times throughout the day, but he has an immensely supportive group of friends that pick him up and dust him off.
Some of you might be thinking, “Isn’t this just another online forum?” or “It’s just a glorified chat room, right?” I’d have to say yes and no. The difference, I believe, is the subject matter and the demographic that the subject pulls. Do we chat? Yes. Do people ask questions and we give answers? Yes. But due to the immediate success of the group, and due to the interactions I have with the other members — I believe writers are hungry. And this particular group provides them sustenance beyond just a forum or a chat room.
Writing is such an isolating act. If we’re not in our heads in front of a keyboard, we’re observing and absorbing the world in a way that keeps us somewhat disconnected from others. Sure some of us writer/creative types have an on/off switch to allow important people in, but allowing them into our secret world is rare. The most my husband has ever seen of my writing world is if I have let him peek through the curtains (let him read my stuff) or have relayed a tin-can and string message (read him my stuff). Unless your significant other is also a writer, chances are, they don’t really understand it. Sure they might get it to a certain level, but not down deep to the secret lair, no, they’re not allowed there. I don’t know about you, but I long for someone to read my work and say, “this works, this doesn’t, fix this.” And I don’t mean an editor, I mean a peer — the someone that DOES get it — another writer. I needed to ask silly questions of someone that wouldn’t think they were silly. I needed to bounce ideas around with people who don’t just shrug and say, “sounds good to me.” I was hungry to experience the craft with other writer’s in a raw environment.
In WDG, writer’s on all levels have no qualms in being honest but respectful. They show interest in everyone that walks through ‘the door’. They want to support, encourage and build relationships with each other. Though the nature of our craft is isolating, there is a great pleasure in sharing the isolation with others who know it, taste it, live it. I encourage any and every writer to try this group, see why we’re one of the most popular in membership. Come experience a writer’s community that will fulfill your desire to keep working at it — without ever leaving your couch.
© 2012 C. S. Jameson. All Rights Reserved.