No need to go it alone. Get help reaching your writing goals

January 13, 2017
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While writing is a solitary task, countless others share your writing passion and can help you reach your writing goals. Whether face to face, from a book, online, or wherever writers gather, you can find help and inspiration from people who understand what you do, have been where you are, and have ideas that can help.

Looking for inspiration, encouragement, an objective critique, or simply an understanding ear to help you reach your writing goals? Try these.

Writing groups

Writing groups are a great place to meet other writers, people who understand where you are, what you’re dealing with, and how writing works. Members can serve as sounding boards, blue-sky partners, cheerleaders, grammar coaches, and questioners. They can provide that objective perspective that often eludes you. They can help sharpen your already good ideas, and they can provide the gentle nudge to keep you moving toward your goals. Best of all, members can become friends.

Writing retreats

For most writers, the most precious commodity is time. Between juggling careers, families, and myriad other issues and responsibilities, most writers struggle to set aside time to write. Writing retreats address exactly that. Whether the retreat is at a campground or in a four-star hotel, the purpose is the same: time to write away from distractions, work, chores, everything. Your only responsibility at a writing retreat is to write. In addition to working on your writing project, you may also have opportunities to participate in read-arounds so you can hear other writers’ works and they can hear yours. Or you could participate in writing from prompts or doing flash-writing. An online search is a good place to begin.

Writing conferences

Writing conferences offer formal, structured writing help. You can learn from knowledgeable leaders, meet other writers, learn about various writing styles, and immerse yourself in the world of writing. You may well find camaraderie in shared stories of inspiration, frustration, and perseverance. You will likely head for home enthusiastic, energized, and ready to write your next chapter – or book.

Online tools

Dozens of websites can help you hone your writing. Looking for writing prompts to get you outside your comfort zone? Have a grammar question? Don’t know a dangling participle from a dingo? Need to write a query letter? Type your question into your search engine, and you’ll likely have dozens of sites to choose from.

You needn’t be alone in your solitary task. Hundreds of other writers will help.

 

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