Social media often conjures up feelings of inadequacy, urgency, and anxiety. Everyone else’s living room is more beautiful than yours (based on Instagram). There are more cat videos than you can possibly devote your time to (according to your Facebook feed). And you create boards for vacations you won’t take for years (thank you, Pinterest).
For writers, social media provides an additional dilemma to grapple with: distraction.
Twitter feeds draw us into conversations, some valuable, some not. RSS feeds pull us into reading blog posts when we should be writing our own. Pinterest offers inspirational quotes to stick on our mirrors, but can’t do the work for us.
@@It’s a fact of the modern writer’s life that social media makes us procrastinate.@@
But when you’re intentional with your social media consumption and strategically participate in conversations where you can both be of service to others as well as find support for your own projects, everything changes.
As my friend Kasey Fleisher Hickey notes, “the key to using Facebook with intention is Groups, Pages, managing your settings, and unfollowing when you see no value add.”
The Benefits of Facebook Groups
Unlike pages that allow you to instantly like a person or brand, most Facebook groups require approval to join. They’re focused on specific topics (anything from accounting to stamp collecting, you can find it!) and are typically hosted by an Admin who sets the tone for the community.
Facebook groups for writers allow you to interact, spark conversations easily, and members can post directly to the page (so long as they’re abiding by the group’s policies).
There are three types of groups. Open groups are, well, open to everyone and don’t require approval to join. Closed groups are visible in search, but require approval from an Admin. Private groups are secret, and no one knows they exist except the people in the group.
In general, most groups have policies regarding promotion. Some groups shy away from it entirely (and will remove people who promote their own work), while other groups have specific threads one day per week to keep this contained. Just be sure to review the policies and play by the rules.
A Digital Writing Community
Writers thrive in isolation, taking pleasure in spending hours alone with our thoughts and allowing our brains to ponder and examine. Many long for silence, save for the soft tapping of our fingers on the keyboard.
But eventually, we need to show our faces (even if it’s only virtually) and connect with real people. We need to make friends, find inspiration, support, ask questions, and remind ourselves that we’re not as alone as we think.
On the topic of community, Andi Cumbo Floyd provides a compelling argument for why they’re so valuable.
So, think of Facebook groups as an integral piece of your sustainable writing life puzzle, and a space to find balance between your intensive writing time and your inherent need to connect with others.
Once inside, you’ll find what you need, whether it’s a place to vent, publishing advice, blogging questions, or simply inspiration to put pen to paper.
7 Facebook Groups for Writers to find community
Type of Group: Closed
Overview: In the group overview, Kirsten writes that a “rising tide lifts all ships.” Create If Writing is “a community for writers, bloggers, & creatives who want to be invigorated and practically equipped! Let's grow together.” This is a lively group that doesn’t take itself too seriously, even when discussing the business aspects of blogging, like affiliate links and pop-ups.
Kirsten’s personality shines through in posts that feel natural and unscripted (like the time she posted a photo with a chameleon on her head). She’s always up for helping you connect with a resource to solve a problem, and knows a thing or two about navigating the waters of email marketing.
Best for: Writers looking to discuss the practical aspects of writing, especially topics like growing your email list and blogging.
Type of Group: Closed
Overview: This group is filled with more than 40,000 members, and serves as a rotating call for submissions for poetry, fiction, and art. That’s it. “We have a zero tolerance policy for any except Calls for Submissions, so if you post your own poetry, you will be removed.”
It’s not as much a space for meaningful connections with other writers, but a space to research publication opportunities, and get a pulse on the industry. If you’re eager to find a home for your work, then this space is worth considering.
Best for: Writers looking for upcoming publishing opportunities, posted in real-time.
Type of Group: Closed
Overview: This group is all about copy, and filled with several hundred copywriters and entrepreneurs. It’s a positive, uplifting environment that welcomes rough drafts, conversations about freelancing, and any and all questions about writing. And if you haven’t tried it already, Jesse’s innovative Copywriting Character Quiz is a fun way to hone in on your unique writing style, and learn the best ways to enhance your natural voice.
Best for: Writers who want to focus on crafting strong copy for their blogs, email sequences, and businesses. Great for sharing rough drafts of work-in-progress that needs clarity or another set of eyes.
Group Type: Public
Overview: This public group is home to more than 8,000 writers, hosted by a team from The Write Life website. New members are asked to introduce themselves, so there’s always a fresh batch of folks to get to know, and conversation topics range from how to name your characters to navigating the publishing world without an agent.
Great for: Writers with one foot in the business realm and looking to connect with other freelancers and authors. It’s also a good place to look for beta testers and discover publishing advice.
Group Type: Closed; membership required
Overview: Writer’s Next Step is a place for “determined writers to come together in a community of encouragement and growth.” To this end, Christine is committed to lovingly holding members accountable for the projects they want to work on, and checks in often through a group accountability log. It aims to be actionable and collaborative, while also addressing concerns like discouragement and doubt.
Best for: Writers looking to form strong relationships with others in an intimate setting (there are less than 200 members), and particularly well suited to those looking for accountability to start and finish writing projects.
Type of Group: Closed; Community for Tribe Writers course members only
Overview: Tribe Writers is an online course to help writers build their platform, start blogs, and publish. The accompanying Facebook group is a supportive space to ask questions about all aspects of the writing process, from finding your voice to the best Wordpress plugins. Friday’s link share provides opportunities to share your work with fellow members, and read about what others are working on, too.
Best for: Writers ready to take the leap in blogging and building their brands.
Host: Yours truly! Say hi on Twitter.
Type of group: Closed; membership required
Overview: The Wild Words Collective is a community focused less on the business side of writing, and more on creating a sustainable writing practice amidst our daily lives. To this end, there is a lot of inspiration (Monday’s always start with a quote), article sharing, and opportunities to discuss things like limiting beliefs about writing, doubt, or embracing our voice.
Best for: Writers seeking to establish long-term relationships with others in the same stage of life, particularly mothers and women who work full-time, and for anyone looking for support to embrace their calling as a writer.