The title says it all: “how online communities compliment my writing life”. It’s something so sad and so true that I couldn’t come up with a more amusing title for it.
I live in Southern New Hampshire, and I know a lot of writers. Some are my age, some younger. For the most part, everybody I know wants to, is, or has written a book. There are even some writers from New Hampshire (you may have heard of Robert Frost or Dan Brown)! But for the most part, we live in our tiny little hamlets and avoid each other as though we’re afraid there’s going to be an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague. It’s not that we all hate each other, it’s that, well… it’s the way we are. We are the people of suffering winters and melting summers – hard weather makes a hard people, and we protect our own… and sometimes, that means our stories, too. I dunno. Maybe we all hate each other. I wouldn’t rule that out either.
I think what I’m trying to say is there aren’t many writing groups in New Hampshire… and there are certainly none in my area. We’re all busy, busy! No time for fun in our little hamlet of the world! Besides, that would mean we would need to rearrange our busy schedules to see people. … Yeah, I’m a little bitter.
A couple years ago, a bunch of my friend!writers decided that we were going to start a group. We even had an online forum, which I managed. We called ourselves “Something to Correct,” because lets face it… there’s always something to correct. We were badass writers and editors, and we didn’t poke at each other’s work with toothpicks… we took out the Uzis! We last two meetings before the Brain of the operation got too busy, and I think the forum died shortly thereafter.
It’s difficult, in the real world, to be a writer and survive. Where I live, nobody has a 9-5 job. We’re lucky if we work the same hours two weeks in a row. Scheduling a meeting between two people is difficult, let alone a meeting between seven people. This is why I have grown attached to online forums as a writing community – they give us the chance to be a part of that type of community… just in our own time, in our pjs, and with a tea and Devil Dog (am I the only person out there who eats Drakes and Hostess as a guilty pleasure?).
There are a lot of things that can be said about the internet, but when it’s the only writing support system I’ve got, I can’t be thankful enough for it. It’s so much easier to write when you have people cheering you on and offering advice. When you’re like me and find that it’s practically impossible to get that in real life… use the sources you have. There are writing websites everywhere (I’m hooked on NaNoWriMo) where lone writers can find a little bit of support, or friends.
Sometimes we may feel like it, but we are never in this alone.