As you all know by now I write for Writers’ Forum a national writing magazine. I have two columns each month, one about authors and their research and the other about writing for children. Each is approximately 1200-1500 words.
Today on my blog though I thought I would write about my thoughts on writers’ forums that is somewhere where people can get together online to discuss writing. There are hundreds of professional and aspiring writers out there and basically we are all in the same boat submitting our manuscripts to agents and editors, with similar wishes and desires for success.
Forums bring people together to chat and talk about their writing. There are different forums for different types of writing. I used to belong to a lot of yahoo Groups when I first started out but I found I outgrew them and Yahoo groups do not not run in the same way anymore, if at all. Nowadays most forums seem to be on Facebook, or run through a society’s websites such as SCBWI and NIBWEB. It is part of your virtual network. I have posted about Virtual networking before, See: Virtual networking
I try to limit myself to three forums so I do not get too many distractions from my work. On these forums, people often asked the same sort of questions But, these were sometimes questions that I may have been pondering over for weeks and just wasn’t brave enough to ask myself.
Sometimes little debates linked to writing go on with everyone adding their point of view. These can be fascinating. Sometimes I listen in or add my own snippet. It is important to contribute to forums to get the most out of them, although I am sure there are plenty of ‘lurkers’. One thing for certain is they definitely counteract the feeling of being alone.
It is also important to keep it positive. If someone says something controversial my advice is – keep quiet. Remember some of the members may be very highly-regarded authors or editors and you want to make a good impression.
And probably most importantly, when you post to a forum every single member gets to read what you have written so keep it relevant. If you want to ask a specific person a question it might be a good idea to do it more privately through email.
If you belong to any forums, which are different to the ones, mentioned above, whether they are for children’s writers or writing for adults why not add a comment. I’d be interested to know a little about them and how they have helped you.