You Get What You Give

Hi everyone.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend. I hope back-to-school shopping is going well. For some states, school has already started or will be starting this week. Regardless, here’s hoping you survive the chaos.

So I thought about writing communities after I read a tweet about it. I used that as inspiration for my IWSG post this past Wednesday. I mentioned several communities from social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. Those where I get the most encouragement. After I posted it, I thought about some other communities. I thought about websites that I have an account with, like Scribophile, and recently, Wattpad. And there are some others that I don’t remember having an account, but probably still do. I also have a Goodreads account where I add books to piles.

Recently, I made some drastic changes. I activated my new Wattpad account Wednesday. Two days later, I deactivated my Scribophile account. (The deactivation was a long time coming.) I realized in hindsight, I should have held off signing up for those sites. But there is a bigger reason why I deactivated my account, or why my accounts were deactivated.

Now it is true that I didn’t have a collection of stories to post on these sites. But there is something more. The thing that makes a community worthwhile is the amount of interaction among its members; something I failed to do. I didn’t explore what the communities had to offer. I didn’t learn the workings of the websites. I didn’t learn the rules of engagement. I didn’t participate in the chats. I didn’t get to know the members and read their stories. I didn’t leave comments on their stories. (Scribophile encourages members to critique, not just comment.) I went wrong on a lot of these writing communities. And I didn’t get what I hoped for. But as the old saying goes, “you only get what you give.” Obviously, I didn’t give much.

I’m hoping that this will change with Wattpad. As it stands, I’m working on writing a collection of shorts to one day post on my account. In the meantime, I’m going to delve into this community and learn as much as I can. The one thing I have an issue with Wattpad is that most of the editing has to be done on a laptop and even that’s not easy. But it is good that I can use any device to read stuff I saved onto my lists. And it is a way to read stories outside of well-known authors. We’ll see what comes.

What about you? What writing websites do you subscribe to? Have you found them helpful? How do you interact with them? If you have any pointers, let me know in the comments.

Until next time…

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3 thoughts on “You Get What You Give

  1. Too true. I belonged to a few writer communities that were geared for querying and writing synopsis or book blurbs, but I failed to participate and haven’t logged in for a couple years. Now have two new writing groups, one that is specific to my genre and one is a group of writers at the same point in our careers, so they each have different benefits. And I aim to be very active in both of them because as you pointed out, you really don’t get much out if you don’t put anything into the community.

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  2. Your post is a very timely reminder. I joined a face to face critique group and attended my first meeting on Saturday. I have been wondering if this group will be a good fit. Your reminder tells me it is all up to me. Thanks for sharing.

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