Meeting other writers

Do you find it hard to meet other writers? Writers are everywhere, but we aren’t a boisterous bunch.

Even if we work somewhere surrounded by people, we’re focused on our screens or our notepads. And even if we’re looking around, it’s uncommon to make eye contact when our minds are in ‘writer mode.’

The Burton Rascoe quote is perfect: “What no wife of a writer understands is that a writer is working when he’s staring out the window.” We might be looking right at each other, and not recognize a similar soul.

Lisa Jackson sitting at table with notebook and pen but staring at view

Letting the story work its way into my mind

But there are ways to meet other writers.

Blogs – such as this one. All of us are in New England, but we each have different networks and areas of interest.

Writer-focused or author Web sites can be a way to connect with the authors of the site, and their bio pages may then have names of writing groups or organizations they belong to. Then when  you visit one of those pages, you’ll find even more ways to connect with other writers and maybe even discover a group of like-minded writers just around the corner!

Cafés and coffee shops are natural places for writers to congregate, so check out bulletin boards and newsletters at these locations to see if groups meet that might be of interest. Asking a barista or bookseller at these places can lead you to local people, too.

Events coordinators at libraries can let you know if there are any local groups that meet. Local community colleges and high schools that offer adult education classes are also resources to check into.

Meetup.com is an international resource. You can find people with similar interests in your area – or if you’re planning to travel, you can easily find people at your destination to start a conversation with before you leave.

Facebook is another resource for meeting writers. I haven’t found way to search on multiple keywords, but there are certainly quite a few writing-related groups and pages there to get you started in meeting other writers.

In New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Writers’ Project offers “Writer’s Night Out” at various venues across the state on the first Monday evening of every month. It’s a fantastic way to get out and socialize with other local writers. Perhaps there’s something like this in your area. Start by searching for a state writing organization.

The best luck I’ve had to date is with book store writing groups and meeting writers through the mystery writer’s organization that I belong to. But lately I’ve noticed the more I talk about being a writer wherever I go, the more writers I’m meeting.

Maybe we just need to wear labels saying “Hi, I’m a writer”!

Where have you met most of your writer friends?

Lisa J. Jackson is a a New England region journalist and a year-round chocolate and iced coffee lover. She writes fiction as Lisa Haselton, has an award-winning blog for book reviews and author interviews, and is on the staff of The Writer’s Chatroom

27 thoughts on “Meeting other writers

  1. Recently a friend in two “unrelated to writing” organizations asked me to critique a work he had done before he was submitting it. I hadn’t known he was writing. He had read one of my published things. It was good for both of us. The short answer is “yes.” It is hard to meet other writers. I went to a conference once, because it was close to me here in California. Several years ago, mid 2005, a teacher/writer colleague told me, “You need need to be talking with other writers.” He had started a blog, I didn’t get that in those years about the blog. I did “get it” about his main point i hence I made it to a conference for the first time. Now, it’s a different. The writer blogs are a huge help. As we continue “meeting” this way, it’s selfish, but I am learning from all my blogging connections. I haven’t struck a balance yet, though. I feel I still need to read more of others’ major works. Am reading more, but not reading everyone’s list. New Hampshire is a long way from my environment. But it has been a learning experience as part of your “network.” In a group I am with, called “a posse” led by author/editor Sunny Frazier, I, and “we” are trying to hone our marketing skills. But, too, I have not physically met any of the posse other than Sunny …. that I know of. But the marketing ideas are exactly along this idea of “meeting other writers” topic. Thanks for this very important topic and question.

    My new question now is, how can you meet new writer friends off-line?

    Tim

    Timothy J. Desmond
    THE DOC, ebook conspiracy thriller novel
    Tim’s Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00694KQQO

    • Hi Tim,

      Glad to have you as a reader. As you point out, there are so many ways to connect with other writers online, and that’s a big deal for us since we can get isolated easily. Your point about writers needing to market themselves is a big deal – and getting bigger every day. Even big publishing houses aren’t doing much in the way of marketing their authors – the writers have to come to them not only with a book, but also an established platform, and a lot of promotion (including booking tours and getting out to speak in front of readers) is left up to the authors, too. If a writer really wants to succeed he or she has to get comfortable with social media, marketing, and getting out in front of people.

      As far as meeting new writer friends offline, that’s what I’m curious about too. I’ve mentioned a few ideas – I think writing organizations might be the best, to at least make initial contact (at a conference or workshop) with writers in the same or similar genre. And meetup.com is good for meeting folks in your own area – maybe different genres, but writers of some sort!

      It definitely takes some work!

  2. I write fiction and work as a nurse in a recovery. There are not many writer’s in the recovery room which occupies half my life, sleeping then takes about 1/4 my life, and kids take up the other 1/4. So when do I have time to meet up with other writers? Oh thank heavens for the internet! When I do get that all too brief moment to talk with another writer it is usually from the other side of a computer screen…but hey, it is interaction. I also make time to hit the CA Writer’s Club chapter in my area one Saturday a month. My goal is to get out and meet more people before then end of the world

    • Thanks for the comment, New Author Publishing. 🙂 Even getting out to a writing group once a month is great…you start making connections and those will lead to other connections. And I bet there *are* some writers in your recovery unit now and then, but they just aren’t able or in the frame of mind to tell you!

  3. I have recently moved my writing to the blogging world and am loving the discipline it provides… i am finding that writing to others that are writing provides a neat online community and I have made some wonderful connections around the world.

    What I find surprising is how few people comment. They will read and come back, that is a good sign… but I would really like to know what people are thinking. Does anyone have any advice on how to encourage more feedback?

    • Hi Letsgrowleaders,

      Getting feedback/comments is definitely a challenge. It’s nice to know people have stopped by the page (by looking at the statistics), but having visible proof people have stopped by is definitely more encouraging.

      Having a call to action (asking a question, or saying “please tell me what you think of x”) at the end of a post is a recommended way to get comments. Or think about yourself and when you’re inspired to leave a comment when you visit someone’s blog. What motivates you to take the time to leave a comment?

    • Hi Donal,

      I don’t think I’ve ever thought of other writers as competition, but I suppose they could be. I’m a journalist and love meeting other journalists in the area to learn what inspires them and what they love to write about. I’m also a mystery writer and love meeting other mystery writers. I have competition when I’m entering a writing contest, but unless you’re self-publishing, it’s up to the editors and publishers you’re submitting to whether or not your writing is put in front of an audience.

      For me, meeting writers and talking about any aspect of writing, is inspiring. I’m always getting new ideas and new ways to think about things. For me, the advantages of meeting and talking with other writers outweighs keeping myself isolated.

  4. Pingback: Getting the most out of a writer’s conference « Live to Write – Write to Live

  5. I’m young writer from balfour siyathemba,south africa. I’m living in a very small town, id love to meet writers with portantial. i like sharing and writing stories that people never saw or head.

  6. Pingback: ***I Talk to Myself ‘Cause there is No One to Talk To: #Writing and #Social Interaction*** | Musings by Melanie V. Logan

  7. Great post. Thanks for sharing your views.
    As writing is a tough and often lonely pursuit, but there are plenty of ways you can get your writing out there and meet other writers. Join Life of Writers to meet fellow writers and exchange tips, suggestions or connect to them. Interested writers can join us or for more details, please browse our website – http://www.lifeofwriters.com

  8. Pingback: #Writing and #Social Interaction: Why People Need People

  9. Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

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