Writing is a solitary endeavor. It is one of the few professions where you really have no contact with the outside world. But it does not have to be an isolating experience.
One of the best ways to deal with this is to join a writers’ group – such as Book-in-a-Week – or a writers’ critique group. It depends on what you’re looking for. It could be to learn something, to keep up with what’s going on, or to just be connected.
In this age of the Internet, where connection is just a click away, you can join an online group where it doesn’t matter where you live or you can check out the groups in your local area like the local chapter of the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Your public library or bookstore would be a good source to finding local groups.
As for myself, I joined an online writers’ critique group out of the UK about four years ago. Initially, I was hesitant as I am not much of a ‘joiner’ and I had had no idea what to expect. But one of the early tips I kept hearing was join a writers’ group to have your work critiqued. At the time, I really wanted some feedback on my novel and it seemed the way to go. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Ever. An unexpected benefit was the friendships that I’ve made through the group.
Whether you follow blogs, or have a favorite writing website or join critique groups–they all serve the same purpose in keeping you connected to the human race and most importantly, with like minded people. It may take trying out two or three different groups in the beginning until you find the perfect fit. But in the end it’s worth it, if only for the sense of camaraderie that you’ll gain from it.