Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Advice to Writers: Join a Chat

I know, I know-in all your spare time (as you scrimp precious minutes to write) how dare I suggest you find time for something as frivolous as a writer's chat?

:p I'm going to anyway.

Writing is often a very solitary pastime. We often imagine as individuals, plot as individuals and write as individuals. Sure, sure--sometimes we brainstorm together or read snippets of our wip to a writer's group or somesuch. But this creative endeavor can make you feel like no one else understands you and your suffering... ;-)

...but other writers do. When you're feeling a bit misunderstood by the non-writers around you, a chat is a great way to get back in touch with folks who DO understand (or come close).

Good chats can:
  • inspire
  • invigorate
  • push you to actually send that manuscript out
  • cheerlead for you
  • give some tips
  • help you connect
  • act as a reward for a week of good steady progress
Really, what you get out of them is truly based on what you put in and how open minded you are.

As part of Twitter, I have stumbled on to a handful of hashtag chats. Here's how you can get involved. And here are a few I suggest:
  • #writechat WriteChat: Most often hosted by Julie Isaac (@WritingSpirit) . Starts with a topic or question at 3pm EST Sunday and goes until 6pm EST. Last week there were 188 participants, so it can move REALLY fast.
  • #FNWC Friday Night Writer's Challenge: Also of good quality, this one's hosted by aspiring authors and is smaller and easier to follow than #writechat (especially if you're a slower typist).
There are a couple more I see fly across my Twitter space that I haven't participate in but look intriguing:
  • #litchat For book-lovers, #litchat takes place from 4-5pm EST every MWF on Twitter.
  • #journchat For journalists, bloggers and PR folks Mondays 10pm-1am EST on Twitter.
  • #editorchat For editors (and the curious) on Wednesdays...Can't find the time...
There's also The Writer's Chatroom if you want to "meet" authors who are up-and-coming or already established. It's more of a lecture format with Q&A, but neat (starts each Sunday 7pm EST). They also host an open chat Wednesdays from 8pm EST to 11pm where writers may chat with other writers in a more casual fashion.

Facebook is also full of great discussion boards, but you're less likely to get real-time attention there due to format. Here are three FB discussion board groups I'd recommend: Help Support Independent Publishers, Second Wind Publishing LLC and Red River Writers- Works of Writers & Artists Worldwide. Send me a friend request in Facebook and I'll help you find them if you like.

So, get involved with other writers, and, if you're a Textnovelist you probably already know about our forum--filling with writing advice and connections to interesting folks!

Keep writing!
~Saoirse
*Remember to stop back in Thursday morning (EST) to meet author Eva Gordon and kick-off our Dog Days of Summer BlogTour. Will there be prizes? Yes. :-) Find the schedule here.

4 comments:

Alexis Grant said...

I think #writechat is actually 12 - 3 PACIFIC (or 3 - 6 EST) on Sundays.

Saoirse Redgrave said...

Alexis,

Thanks for pointing that out--I meant to put PST (but was thinking EST). I'll fix that immediately.

Ah, if it's the one mistake I make today I'm doin' okay. ;-)

Thanks for stopping in and I hope you come back for the Dog Days of Summer BlogTour starting Thursday. :D
~Saoirse

ptbertram said...

Hi, Saoirse! Just wanted to thank you for recommending two of the facebook groups I help administer. We try to keep things interesting! Did I ever tell you about my live chat? If you are ever free on Thursday night at 9:00pm ET, stop by http://www.nowhine.gather.com. The featured chat is the discussion. It would be great to talk to you!

Saoirse Redgrave said...

Pat,

Thank you so much for stopping by (you know I think the world of you and Second Wind :-). I definitely would love to stop in to your chat--I'm guessing that's the one nicknamed "No Whine, Just Champagne?" :D I've wanted to get there for quite a while!

If I'm not too fried from the first day of The Dog Days BlogTour I'll check it out. Thanks so much for the invite!
~Saoirse