A few weeks ago, I did a videochat over at the most-marvelous GlobalNiche about global writing communities and #38Write (my monthly online series of writing workshops for place-passionate, cultural spelunkers around the world). It was a terrific conversation (click thru to watch here).
Since then, a few writers have asked, Why do I need a global writing community?
Ask and you shall receive:
1. Because our world is changing & changing fast. As technology and globalization draw us closer together, it’s more important than ever for writers (and all humans, really) to:
- become culturally literate
- learn to communicate with folks who are different than us (speak different languages, practice different religions, follow the laws of different political systems, etc.)
- work/write on the fly—we’re more mobile; we get around faster, farther, and more often; we need to have writers/artists/creators in our lives who get this
- use social media tools to enhance the writing process, share work, boost creativity, offer feedback, engage in discussion, etc.
2. Publishing is changing (shocking revelation, I know). Opportunities to share work with a global audience are popping up everywhere. You’ll need a global writing community to stay relevant and informed.
3. If you’ve ever belonged to ANY writing community—local, global, live and in person, virtual via the Internet, etc.—you know that belonging to such a community is not just about getting feedback on your work. It’s about connecting with a group of people who share your passion for words, stories, place, communication, adventure, culture, etc. It’s about giving and getting support for the delightful yet arduous life of a writer.
4. Belonging to a global writing community is exciting. It’s exciting to give and get feedback from someone in the Middle East. From someone in Australia. From someone in Turkey or Egypt or China. It broadens your world, enhances your perspective, and makes you step back and consider things in new ways.
5. To those who say it’s impossible to create trust and intimacy in a virtual, global writing workshop/community, I say phooey. Yep, it takes time and commitment, but all good relationships do, don’t they? Social media tools—Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube—are perfect for worldwide community engagement; their true potential has yet to be tapped. (I’m a’tapping…)
6. Finally—and perhaps most importantly—building a virtual, global writing community is about cracking open…your mind…your heart…even that dark place deep inside where we hoard judgment and fear. (Don’t forget, I EAT FEAR!)
Cheers! Hope to see you in a #38Write workshop soon!