By Amari D. Pollard
Writing can oftentimes feel like a solo venture, especially when you’re a freelancer working from home or out of your local coffee shop. But rather than making your way through your writing journey alone, it’s worth seeking out a few other writers who are also struggling through the daily grind and who could use a support system of their own. Try these strategies to find some friends who will inspire and motivate you.
Turn to social media.
The world has opened up because of apps like Facebook and Instagram, and luckily for you, that means writers are more accessible than ever. With a literal click of a button, you can join a number of writing networks without having to leave the comfort of your home. Facebook has a plethora of groups dedicated to those looking to discuss their writing projects and writing opportunities—my personal fav is Freelancing Females—and you can find other great ones through Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.
Look for writing centers.
In college, I would frequent the Downtown Writers Center in Syracuse, New York for various readings but I regret not taking advantage of their writing programs too. The Center offered various creative workshops throughout the year, giving writers a space to come together to work on their art as a group. You never know what your local community might offer, so don’t be shy about asking.
Join a writers association.
While most aren’t free, the benefits from joining are huge. A good friend of mine actually got her first post-grad job at Vice through connections she made as a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and I myself have found a wonderful group of fellow writers through the American Society of Magazine Editors. There are so many associations throughout the country that offer support, great networking opportunities, and training sessions, so do some research to figure out which one is most relevant to your needs.
Check out Meetup.com.
I’m so upset at myself for not discovering this gem earlier. Meetup.com is an online space where you can discover get-togethers that are specifically tailored to your interests. Whether you need some constructive critics, want to talk about the highs and lows of working in media, or are just wondering where you should go next within the industry, there’s a group for you on the site.
Create your own crew.
You probably know a decent amount of people going through the same things as you. Instead of looking to insert yourself in a group where you’re not exactly sure how you’ll mesh, gather people from your network who you’re already comfortable with and set up an informal meeting. You can gather at a local coffee shop or at each other’s apartments, whichever you feel more comfortable with.
Amari D. Pollard is the Social Media Editor for The Week. She has written pieces for Parents, Popsugar, Elite Daily and Inside Lacrosse. She’s a news junkie obsessed with her collection of glasses, vintage shopping, and brunching. Check out her work at amaridawn.com and follow her slightly above average life on Instagram and Twitter.