Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Using Social Media as a Writer's Support Group

Admit it; funny cat videos are the bomb. Have you seen the one where...

There's more to Facebook or Twitter than funny cat videos!

I recently discovered an online Facebook group full of writers of all different genres, but with a couple core similarities. They're all Indie or hybrid Indie, and they're all writing clean reads. I found the group probably from browsing group names and choosing to join based on if I thought they would have anything to offer me.

Whoa Nelly! The group turned out to be a goldmine of information and support for the budding Indie author.

I've been a part of social media, primarily Facebook, for years and years, but this has been the first time a FB group has served such a vital purpose.

When you're a writer, having some kind of support group is extremely valuable. It's affirming to have a group to bounce ideas off of, a group of people whom you trust to give you honest but kind feedback, and also a group where you can give back with advice and ideas of your own.

A local writers' group is a treasure, but if you want the same dividends without having to leave your home, then an online social media group is the very next best thing.

If you're looking for a group to join, consider your own personal goals first. You might even jot them down. Do you need critical feedback about a chapter in your book? Is your book polished and ready to go...but you don't know how to market it? Flesh out your needs, and then start asking around. Thanks to the proliferation of FB groups, there is no shortage out there. If you have participated in any book release parties or Like for Like events, you will have stumbled upon other writers and creators, and should have a nice base to start from. Let people know you're looking for an online writers' group.

You can browse FB group titles. Looking for a critique group? Just type that in to the search bar. You might have to join a few and post quite a few times to get a feel for the group. No harm done if you decide the group isn't quite what you had in mind and you can choose to 'unjoin' or just visit every once in a while.

Once you've found a group that meshes well with your goals and desires, you will feel like you and your book are moving in a great direction. It's so fulfilling to have like-minded people supporting you and leading you along on the right path if you lose your way or get sidetracked. Plus, it's great to be able to give back and share things you've learned.

The Indie community is pretty special because rather than a feeling of competition, there is a feeling of mutual support. Find yourself a group and become a part of a community that really helps you grow as a writer, and where you can help others too.

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