As writers, it’s easy to get lost in what we’re doing. We settle in at our computer (or notebook) and start hammering out our written worlds. Being solitary is part and parcel of the writing life. But to be successful as a writer — commercially or otherwise — we need to connect with others.
Ideally, we’d be part of an engaged writing community, full of people willing to give us feedback, ideas, and help grow our skills. From Socrates to Hemingway, and Plath to Palahniuk, many of history’s greatest writers were members of active writing groups. That said, the pace of modern life can make it difficult to commit to regular meetings.
A great alternative is to use social media to connect with other writers. Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter all offer powerful ways to find and interact with writers. Of these, Twitter is perhaps the most flexible. A good way to find and “follow” other writers is search for common writing hashtags such as: #AmWriting #AmEditing #AmRevising #CopyWriting #EditGoal #Editing #IndieAuthor. You can also try searching under your preferred genre: #mystery #romance #YA #nonfiction and so on. Follow writers you’re interested in and comment on their posts. You’ll be amazed how quickly discussions can start.
Social media is also a great way to connect with readers - and not just to endlessly promote your book, but to have meaningful discussions about all things writerly. Perhaps one of the most successful examples of this strategy is YA writer, John Green. An enthusiastic proponent of social media, Green feels that authors owe it to their readers and to themselves to interact as much as possible. For him, “the real privilege is having a seat at the table in the lives of people when they’re figuring out what matters to them.”*
Connecting with readers online not only helps build positive word-of-mouth but can also provide invaluable feedback for writers. By understanding where your work succeeds with readers (or doesn’t), you can continue to refine and improve your skills.
*(Visit http://fw.to/mNVMqXb for the full interview.)
Written by Christian Fink-Jensen, FriesenPress Marketing Manager