Sometimes writing can be the loneliest thing in the world. Friends and family surrounding you, but they don’t understand what goes into writing life. You search for someone to who ‘gets it.’ To find your writing tribe.
The online writing community can be a wonderful place. Full of writers working in the same genre as you. Writers who are the same age as you. Writers who have the same writing routine as you. Or perhaps have the same sense of humour as you. There are so many potential friendships.
My first attempt to make writing buddies was on twitter and instagram. Hashtags are a lifesaver. Try #writinglife, #amwriting, and #writerproblems. You will have many future friends to pick from! The most effective way I found writer buddies is on youtube, specifically, authortube. I prefer it because I can see people and gage their personality. I’m a long-time people watcher and a very visual person, so the medium is a great fit for me.
So, now I have a few tips if you are wanting to make your own writing friends, whether on social media, or on authortube. Look at the online writing community the same as you would people in real life. You wouldn’t walk up to someone and tell them to read your entire manuscript without introducing yourself. You would take the time to get to know them and find if you’re compatible for a lasting friendship. I get a lot of emails asking me to critique full length fantasy manuscripts. Anyone viewing my content, should be able to detect I am the not the best person for this job. I specialise in contemporary, realistic fiction. Also, it’s a bit off putting being propositioned like this. It has happened on quite a few occassions. I always direct people to critique forums.
There is talk that authortube in cliquey. Honestly, I don’t see it. This comes from people who haven’t found their tribe yet. They want to have the friendships they see on screen. Believe me, I was there. I had some friendships my first 18 months online, but it was tough going to form something concrete. Then camp nanowrimo April 2019 rolled around. I was in a cabin with fellow authortubers, and we got on with like a house on fire. We have a group chat we talk in every day. Helping each other with writing related, or personal, problems. It’s very fun and I am now so close with these four women. We do occasional livesteams together, and this can cause some viewers to see us as a clique. But this isn’t the case. We all happened to get along and put the same effort into the friendship.
You wouldn’t walk up to a group of people chatting in real life and demand to be their friends. You have to ease in. And remember, friendship is a two way street. You may want someone to know everything about you and your writing projects, but you have to do the same for them. Ask people what they are working on, show interest in them as a person, and find something to bond over. Friendships take time to develop, and if you are patient, the pay off is grand.
So, I’ll start. Are you a writer, working on a project? What was your inspiration and which part of the world do you hail from?
I’m Emily, I’m publishing my first novel this year. It’s called ‘In A Mirror’ and is young adult, contemporary fiction. I live in NSW, Australia.
Remember, if it’s not fun, don’t take it seriously. We’re all just a lunatic writing a book.