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Posts tagged writer
Do You Call Yourself a Writer?
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Have you ever given much thought to your name? I hadn't until I was older except that my name was hard to pronounce, and I ended up spelling it to everyone I came in contact with. There would be times I was asked what country I was from because outside of my small community, it is not a common name, and on rare occasions, I was asked what it meant. It never offended me that people thought I might be from another country or that they couldn't spell my name I just thought of it as the facts of my life. 

When I was in college, I was asked and told what my name meant over and over again. I finally looked up my name meaning so I could recite to anyone else who asked because I did start to get a little annoyed. I had never gone by any nicknames or some altered version of my name. It was always lovely to hear my name properly pronounced without having to correct someone, but it was rare. 

There have been other names I have been called like fat when I was a child because I wasn't as slender as the other kids in my class. I don't ever remember being called smart in school though I was called a good many times, I never could understand what good really meant. I was called quite a lot more than I have ever been called anything else in my life. But then I was called weird, crazy, or strange when I started to open up to others and stopped being quiet. 

Life changing events call for name calling too. It was fun to be called the girlfriend at times, and it was better to be called the ex. I love being called a mother and a parent. I hoped to be an aunt one day, but sister had a beautiful ring to it too. An employee was also a beautiful name when the paycheck came from it as well. 

My favorite name didn't show up until the last year, and it was one I didn't think I would like as much as I did. It was important to me and was solidifying the previous three work and devotion. It was a writer. I can remember the first time I was referred to as a writer friend in a blog, and it was absolutely fantastic. My heart leaped out of my body into the upper atmosphere and back again in a second. 

I had been hesitant to refer to myself as a writer, and it sounds like I was an impostor because I couldn't answer the questions of where I had been published at or when my book would be out. When I found other writers, there hasn't been a question about validation with writers in my community. You write; therefore, you are a writer; it does matter the frequency or how long or what you are writing, you just write. 

The Importance of Writing Communities
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I would like to share my journey with writing communities over the last year. I have always loved the idea of community, but my real life practice of it has not always been what I was expecting. I find it hard to connect with others at times and enjoy my time alone. I have had the challenge of living in an area where there are not many writing groups. These circumstances led me to start looking into the online world of writing groups.

The first thing I found was NaNoWriMo which is writing a novel in November. It was a 50,000-word challenge that I thought sounded terrific, but without an actual steady writing practice in motion at the time, it proved to be complicated. 

This organization has a branch called Camp NaNoWriMo. Where the options for goals were more flexible, and the writing groups (cabins) were smaller. It was easier to find writers I had things in common with such as the genre of writing interest or I found writers who wanted to read what I was writing. 

This organization had functional groups, but I wanted more. I found Facebook groups were becoming the trend for those communities. Many of the NaNo communities had their own Facebook groups that I was added to but after a month or two after the challenge talking fades. I did have a good camp session where there was a lot of talking on the actual site, but I later found out they had been doing camp together for quite a few years. 

I wanted something more out of a group of writers. I knew I needed more time to get to know people. A community that would be devoted to writing and communication for more extended amounts of time. I was convinced at the time I wanted to write a novel, but upon further reflection of my college years, I remember how much I enjoyed short stories. 

I began googling about short shorties where to find them and who was writing them. I came across this site called Story A Day. It seems interesting there were a lot of prompts that I loved, and a challenge to write a story each day for May. They also had a private group called Super Stars. It was a chance for me to take to have community and to meet a challenge head-on for writing. 

So, I began trying my best to put myself out there and become part of the group. It was hard at first because I had not had a lot of communication with writing circles for the last few years. However, I continued to put myself out there and kept trying. It was a significant risk for me to take, but it was so worth it in the end. 

Over time I have gotten to know a lot of people and feel comfortable sharing my work again to get feedback on it. This was a huge stepping stone in the right direction for me. I opened up and let these people in. They have been there through some of the hardest writing days I have had so far. It is lovely to hear from them and get to know them.

I don’t get anything out of sharing this with you. I just want you to know there are communities out there that can meet your needs. There are places you can go and find the writing support that you have longed for. It may not be Story A Day or NaNoWriMo maybe it is a different community I have never heard of. 

My Top Three Reasons for Getting in a Writing Community are:

1. Writing communities give you a place to go when you have questions.

2. They are encouraging when you are having a hard time with your pages.  

3. It is more fun to do things as with a friend than it is to do them alone. Yes, I’m talking to you introverts. 

People who are interested in the same things can be critical to our future decisions and the road we choose in life. I am part of the Story A Day community again this year today is the last day to sign up if you are interested. I just finished Camp NaNoWriMo for April. I am taking the risk to get to know new people and to build new relationships with others.  I can’t wait to see what will happen.