How to Build Your Writing Community

Community is one of the most important parts of writing a book. It’s how authors get feedback on their work, advice to make the right decisions, and the support they need to keep working until “The End”. Without community, many successful authors never could have completed their books.

But what do you do if you don’t have a writing community? You build one! Here’s how you can start creating your own writing group today.

Determine an objective

People join various writing groups for many different reasons. Sometimes people just want support; to hear from other authors and share the highs and lows of the writing process. Other times, people want feedback. They want to hear from other experienced authors in their genre and gain some of their expertise. Sometimes people even want writing groups filled with their target audience to offer insight on how they can make their books better.

The beauty of starting your own writing community is that it’s completely up to you. You have the control to make it whatever you want it to be. Decide what’s most important to you, or choose to make a few different groups with their own objectives.

Choose a place

Do you prefer to meet in-person, or are you willing to grow your potential community by starting one online? Either way, it’s completely up to you. There are pros and cons to both options. An in-person community allows you to get to know your fellow writing peers a little better, however you’ll be limited to those in your area. You also may run into problems of not having enough time, lack of places to meet, or things stalling when members have busy schedules.

Although online communities don’t offer face-to-face contact, they do come with some advantages. Your pool of potential group members is much larger, which means you can easily find others in your genre, target audience, or with similar interests. There is also the benefit of being able to ask for feedback and start discussions at any time, and people can respond at their own convenience.

Note: Author Circles are a great place to start building your writing community online! It’s a great way to connect with other ALC members. Plus, you can even invite those who aren’t on the ALC. Best of all, it’s already included in your membership!

Invite members

Once you’ve chosen an objective and a meeting place, it’s time to start thinking about who you want in your writing community. If you’ve chosen to meet in-person, talk to your friends or fellow writers in your area. Try hanging up flyers or putting something in the local newspaper to find people you don’t know.

If you’ve chosen to build your writing group online, look to places like the ALC and social media platforms. Consider starting a Facebook group or looking in the comments of your favorite writing blogs to see if you find anyone you may want to invite. If you’re already a part of some online communities, that may also be a good place to start.

Once you find a few good people, ask them to reach out to people they know who may be good to join. From there, your community should grow until you decide you have just the right number of people.

Start discussions, ask questions, and offer help

Now that you have a group assembled, the fun can begin. You’ve built this community, so it’s your job to ensure it remains helpful and friendly. As often as you can, offer up discussion questions to get thoughts and feedback from your fellow members. This can be anything from asking them about their favorite books to getting their advice on what you should call your main character.

You also shouldn’t be afraid to upload drafts of your book for others to look over. Feedback and critique can be tough, but this is what writing communities are for! They can offer you helpful advice, and in turn, you can write a better book.

But don’t just ask for help—make sure you’re giving it too. Communities are all about helping each other. It’s good to remember that even though you built this community, everyone is looking for help. If you’re asking for people’s time to give you feedback, advice, and encouragement, you should be taking time to do the same in return.

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