Have you ever felt lonely in your work as a writer? Writing is a solitary pursuit, and many writers find that in order to thrive, they must balance the individual work of writing with an outside support system.
An introvert and self-described “solopreneur,” author Tsh Oxenreider discovered her need for a writing community early in her career.
Tsh sat down with hope*writers to share her top tips for creating an intentional community that supports your writing work.
“I’m a big believer in looking ahead and finding your mentors, looking behind and finding your mentees, and also looking left and right and finding your peers.” — Tsh Oxenreider
Finding mentors isn’t as challenging as it may seem at first glance. Writing professionals frequently offer their services, and can be found online or through word of mouth without much difficulty. Authors may even serve as our unofficial mentors through their work.
However, finding peers to work alongside can be a particular frustration for writers. Because our work is insular by nature, it may be difficult to find or identify other writers in our larger social circles. Identifying fellow writers is one thing, but finding the people we connect with on a deeper level takes intention and work.
We’re here to help.
At hope*writers, our community helps writers discover each other in a friendly, noncompetitive, supportive online space. In this space, writers take their first steps towards building systems of support, regardless of their writing stage. We make the following steps towards community-building a little bit easier for you. Here’s how to get started:
Once you’ve entered into a larger community of writers, begin to identify those who are at a similar level of experience, or, even more importantly, those who express a similar level of commitment to their work. One resource we provide for our hope*writers members is our Member Directory, where you can search for writers who write similar content, for similar readers, or who live in your area.
“Don’t wait to be invited,” Tsh tells hope*writers. Once you’ve identified the writers who are compatible with you and your work, invite them to join you for a deeper level of commitment and intentionality.
Meeting online is great and serves a purpose, but consider the possibility of meeting your peers in person for a critique or brainstorming session. If you put aside time and funds to attend a conference or writing events every year, consider reallocating your resources to meet with your group in person at a central location.
A like-minded group of writers supporting each other's work is a safe place to share your writing, brainstorm ideas, and ask questions. You don’t have to do this alone. At hope*writers, we believe the writing life can be a thriving life.
Want to hear all of Tsh's tips on creating intentional community? She makes community-building feel doable and downright easy! This conversation was available to members only but you can click here for FREE access to learn more from Tsh and take one step toward balancing the art of writing with the business of publishing.