Writing can be a very lonely business and a writer can often feel isolated. To combat this isolation I have joined three writing forums. There are loads of Forums out there and I have belonged to others before, but now I try to limit myself to three so I do not get too many distractions from my work. Most of the groups I belong to are run through Yahoo! Groups and are all linked to writing for children. They are:
- NibWeb - The Network for Information Book Writers and Editors. This is a group of professionals who write illustrated non-fiction for young people, many with backgrounds in publishing, teaching or both. This is a branch of the National Union of Journalists. There are about 50 members. www.nibweb.co.uk
- SCBWI - The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. This is a group of published and aspiring, writers and illustrators, of children's fiction. They are an international group and a relatively new forum with 118 members. www.britishscbwi.org
- Wordpool - A friendly discussion group with 469 members who are published and unpublished children's writers, aiming at the UK market. I have belonged to this group for many years and have made lots of friends and some of them I have since met at various different writing events. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wordpool
At all of these forums, members discuss issues to do with writing for children and give help and advice. I have found it invaluable. Often people ask the same sort of questions I may have been pondering over for weeks and just wasn't brave enough to ask myself. Sometimes little debates linked to children's writing go on with everyone adding their point of view. These can be fascinating. Sometimes I listen in or add my own snippet. The one thing they definitely counteract is feeling alone.
I've come to realise there are hundreds of aspiring writers out there and basically we are all in the same boat submitting our manuscripts to editors, with similar wishes and desires for success. Being able to share my worries and thoughts through such forums helps.
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.