Quick-Tip Tuesday: Finding A Writing Community

I’m finally home after ConCarolinas and the Roaring Writers Retreat, where I taught and led critique sessions for a fun, productive, wonderful week. (Thanks for inviting me, folks — it was fantastic!) My third night home — last night — I attended a meeting of the writer’s group of which I’m a part here in my town. And, of course, I’m posting this to MW, which has been the foundation of my writing family for eight and a half years.

So, I thought today I should post about community and its importance to writers of all levels.

Writing can be a lonely profession. We often work on our own, toiling alone for hours at a time, sending our work into what can feel like a marketplace vacuum, and waiting for feedback that can be hurtful, even brutal. It’s hard, and our solitude makes it harder. Yes, we have loved ones […]

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Magical Words at Three Years!

Today marks the three-year anniversary of the very first Magical Words post, and I wanted to use today’s post to mark the occasion. You’ve heard the story of MW’s founding before, so I won’t bore you with that again. Nor do I plan to use this space to plug the amazing new MW book, How to Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion (Bella Rosa Books, $18), which is garnering rave reviews and slowly but surely making its way up the sales charts. Oh, look! Guess I plugged it after all…. I will mention that over the course of three years we’ve gone from being a tiny little site with basically no followers at all, to ranking in the top 2% of all sites in terms of traffic, and being recognized as one of the leading writing sites on the web.

But even that is somewhat beside the point. I’d like […]

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Word Wars

I can’t remember if I’ve talked about word wars here before, so I think I will now. 🙂

Some years ago I was introduced to the concept, which is popular during Nanowrimo, if at no other time. The basic idea is that you and at least one other person log in to a chat room of some kind, set a timer, and write like crazy for 30-45 minutes on your work in progress (not in the chat window). Then you come back, report your word count, take a few minutes to stretch, and do it all over again.

The point of these wars is not to win, although the person with the highest wordcount gets accolades from the others, and at least half an hour’s worth of bragging rights. The point, mostly, is to be in a group of others all pursuing the same goal–getting the words on the page–and […]

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