Hello Lovelies, and welcome back to the blog. We are at the end of the first week of NaNoWriMo and I am keeping a double pace so far. Whether you are writing novels this November or not, one of the things I most enjoy about doing NaNoWriMo is the sense of community you get when doing this crazy challenge.
So let’s explore the idea of creating your own writing community. First, I want to give you ideas for places to look for an existing community, then we’ll talk about what to do if no community exists in your area.
So where do you even look for writing communities?
There are three main places you can look for writing communities. These are the library, any schools or colleges, and online.
It is very likely that people who love books and write them will end up at a library at some point. Your local library probably has at least one conference room that they let people reserve time slots to use. My local group, Westword Writers, meets at our library once a month. I recommend asking the front desk if they know of any open writing groups, especially ones that are using their library.
Schools and Colleges
Often at schools you can find tons of clubs and extracurricular activities. Sometimes, there are after hours classes you can take for free or for a discounted rate. Look around for bulletin boards. Schools often have free wifi access, so you may find groups of people meeting in the school library, on cushy chairs at the student center, or in a classroom.
Looking online may actually be your easiest way to find writers, as we are nearly always using computers or laptops to write. Use your favorite search engine. Type in something like, “local writing groups near me” and see if anything pops up. Do the same in any social media site you regularly log into. If they meet online and you like their vibe, it doesn’t really matter how far away they are.
What if you can’t find any writing communities at all in your area?
If no community exists, or the current ones don’t work for you, can you make a writing community of your own? Can you add a new meeting time to an already-existing group and lead them yourself? I ran a Saturday meeting of Westword Writers because they used to meet on Mondays and that didn’t work for me at all.
Invite any writer friends into a Zoom chat once a week. Or make a restricted forum on Reddit where you can invite writing friends to share their work, post interesting finds, and do writing prompts for feedback.
What do you like about NaNoWriMo? Have you tried looking for writing groups locally? Where have you found them? Let us know in the comments below.