Sunday, March 1, 2015

Need a writers' support system? There's a social media community for that!

I may have mentioned that I'm the sort of person who can write in my little cave without emerging to see the sun for days on end. This is true for many writers, I think. We can be solitary creatures, and writing tends to be a solitary activity.

That's all well and good, until we need some support. Someone to hold us accountable for our stated goals. Someone to pat our shoulder when we get that story rejected--for the twentieth time. Someone to remind us that the best way out of any snafu we encounter as a writer is to keep writing. Someone to show us a video of babies dancing to bring the good feels back when all we can think about is how our writing is complete crap.

Our non-writing friends are great, but they often don't  understand what it is we do (or why the heck we do it), and not all of us are blessed with a bevy of writing friends. That's when it's nice to have a virtual writing community to support us.

As I've been working to learn more about social media for the purposes of my 'platform', I've discovered fun new ways to surround myself with others who are as obsessed with writing as I am. There are tons and tons, within genres, across genres, for different purposes. Here are a few of my current favorites:

1) #WriteClub: I'm not sure who originated the hashtag, but every Friday, the lovely people at @FriNightWrites on twitter put on a series of writing sprints under that hashtag. This technically only happens for a few hours in a given time-zone, but different people oversee the sprints in different time zones from all around the world, so the hashtag ends up being active all through the day. When the admin calls time, everyone reports how many words they were able to write during the sprint, and there's even one dedicated admin who has been tracking those numbers since the inception of the project, and reports how many cumulative words have been written. @TheSprintShack also runs sprints under this hashtag throughout the week, and people use it to connect through the week as well. This is a great way to get yourself motivated and get some words on that page!

2) #WritingChallenge: This is a group of writers who encourage each other to write 500 words per day for a month. There is at least one Facebook group associated with it, and you can always use the general hashtag (#WritingChallenge), but the actual hashtag changes each month (e.g., #MarWritingChallenge). Even if you're not a twitter person, you can check out the Facebook group for support that way.

3) Pinterest writing boards: This one is probably obvious but I have to mention it because I love visiting boards where people store writing advice and inspirational quotes. And the great thing about boards like this is there will inevitably be a quote that says something along the lines of 'Shouldn't you be writing right now? Go write!' Sort of like a built-in timer that reminds me I've spent enough time on Pinterest for now.

4) #AmWriting/#AmRevising: Search these hashtags for an instant community of folks who are pouring their blood, sweat and tears into their current work in progress (#WIP, btw). You'll find encouragement, solidarity, great quotes, and witty banter.

5) #PitchMadness, Pitchapalooza, #PitchWars: Each of these is an event that gives you an opportunity to have your work seen by an agent. Pitch Madness happens in February; writers submit a 35-word pitch for their novel, and agents fight over the best ones for a chance to read more from the author. Pitchapalooza is going on right now, and it's a NaNoWriMo-based event that can help you get some important feedback on your pitch. Pitch Wars happens in August, and mentors fight over which authors they get to mentor, to help you put together the best set of materials you can produce. In each case, a writing community springs up around the event to help one another produce the best work they can.

This is just the surface of the cool stuff you can find to help keep you writing out there on social media--there are thousands. Start following those hashtags and see where they lead you. Follow a few of the accounts, and twitter will suggest more--one is bound to suit your needs. And you can take advantage of it all from your couch, in your jammies.

You'll see me hanging out in these communities as @mishka824 on Twitter, Mishka824m on Pinterest (where I have my own writing board, of course!), and Michelle Chouinard on Google+.

Do you have any favorites virtual writing communties or secrets? Please share them with me!

Happy writing,


  1. This is great info to search out inspiration and support. Thank you so much. And to those two things, they apply to you.

    1. That's such a sweet thing to day--they apply to you, too. :)


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