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A Writing Community That Grows With Me

Renee Walsh talks about the importance of her writing community which she finds through different venues.

By Renee Walsh

March 10, 2023

It’s been great to participate in this year’s Book Revision Lab, to reconnect with my old writing pals from 2020’s Novel Incubator while adding new people to my writing community. Everyone has been so positive, supportive, and inspiring, encouraging me to revise my young adult novel to be all it can be.

Circles of Writers

Like with friendships, members of my writing community span several circles, extending beyond my core group at book inc.

I have many writing pals through social media and online groups like Twitter’s #5amwritersclub and a group of 400+ writers who share anything and everything pertaining to writing life on Discord. Even though I’ve never met most of these people in person, I still feel supported by them and in turn, cheer them on in their writing pursuits.

I’ve workshopped with folks at writing retreats and discussed my work with bookish friends who are happy to read my work and give feedback. I can’t imagine trying to write a novel-length draft without being able to share my frustrations, writing tips, and ideas with fellow writers.

I also consider industry professionals important players in my writing community. Advice on everything from query letters to the commercial appeal of a project is available online. I’m a big fan of the podcast The Shit No One Tells You About Writing by the folks at P.S. Literary or the many webinars and newsletters offered by Save the Cat author, Jessica Brody. These writers and agents provide endless support to writers on their podcasts and social media sites.

My Writing Community Is Essential To Me

I don’t think I would get anywhere near my goals if I was doing this alone. Sometimes when my schedule gets hectic and I’m tempted to stash my work in a drawer, it’s my writing community who gets me back to my work. It might be something like a simple message on Slack or a text from a fellow writer asking how my book is coming along. Maybe it’s a nudge to enroll in another class or attend a conference. Many times, when I’m back to writing after a hiatus, someone else played a part in getting me back into a groove.

As I continue on my writing journey, I feel lucky to have a community that grows right along with me. I know I’ll be needing them as I seek to publish and promote my book somewhere down the line, and I know I’ll be cheering them on as well in their own writing pursuits.

Renee Walsh previously wrote for a lifestyle public relations house in New York City and currently teaches reading and writing workshops to elementary-