5 Reasons to Join a Writing Community
Are you a member of a writing community? I’m not talking about attending a writers’ conference. Are you part of a writing critique group or other professional organization that meets at least once a month?
If you are, then you already know the benefits. If you’re not, then consider the following:
We’ll be understood
Ephesians 2:19 reminds us that as Christians, we’re no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people. As writers, we need that same sense of belonging. The reality is that most of our family and friends don’t understand why we’re driven to arrange words on a page day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. But fellow writers? Yeah, they get it.
Romans 12:15 tells us we are to rejoice with those who rejoice. A writing community provides camaraderie that comes with sharing our joys. The only thing some friends and family want to know is, “Are you published yet?” But joys that seem small to others are huge to the writing community. Your unpublished manuscript won a contest? Yea! An agent asked for your full proposal? Double yea! An acquisitions editor took your proposal to pub committee? Triple yea! Again, fellow writers get it!
Romans 12:15 also reminds us to weep with those who weep. Sometimes the agent sends us a polite declination. Or the pub committee declines our proposal. Sometimes we’re stuck writing the same chapter for weeks because it’s just not coming together. For all those times, we need to be there for each other, sharing comfort we’ve received during our own writing journey.
Proverbs 27:17 observes iron sharpens iron. That’s true of most writing communities. It’s a rare meeting where I don’t learn something new about how to improve my writing or editing skills. Can you really say you have nothing more to learn? Some of the best insights I received regarding my own writing came from critique partners!
Finally, 1 Peter 4:10 tells us we should use our gifts to serve. Being part of a writing community provides opportunities to look beyond ourselves to serve others. Regardless of where you are in your writing journey, someone helped you in some way. Perhaps it was with a word of encouragement. Maybe it was by volunteering to lead the group to provide a place for you. It might have been by critiquing a portion of your manuscript. Or perhaps they told you about a conference you should consider or a writing blog you should follow. Continuing as a member of a writing community gives you an opportunity to do the same thing for someone else. Let’s face it: to the uninitiated, the publishing world can be mysterious!
These five advantages of writing communities are just the beginning. What other benefits can you add to this list?