How to Measure a Writing Community

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How is everyone doing? Sorry, I’ve been off the WordPress grind for a while, but I’ve been working on my submissions.

Basically, this has been me:

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Oh! I also won a writing contest on Writing.com, and I got an honorable mention in another contest :3 I’m super happy about it, and I didn’t expect to win. Everyone there has been supportive and it actual inspired today’s blog post.

Today, I want to discuss how to measure a writing community.

When I say measure a writing community, I mean how to measure if it’s good, or if it’s bad. Now since I’ve found a good community, these are things I will look for in the future:

  1. Does the community inspire you to be better? – To emphasize my point here, I’m going to take an example from my own experiences. On Wattpad, I was never inspired to be better or to improve my writing. This was because so many poorly written stories were popular. Not only were the poorly written stories popular, the website was also giving them awards based on their reads and votes. Sadly, that didn’t inspire me to improve. It inspired me to write a cliché story and not worry about grammar and spelling. Needless to say, that didn’t work for me. On Writing.com, thanks to the reviews I get, I am inspired to improve my craft and master the written word.
  1. Are you able to find others that support you? – To be fair, I feel like you can find supportive people in any community, but those friendships shouldn’t turn into a competition. In the writing community, it’s easy to turn against one another or get discouraged by another’s success, especially someone who’s a friend. Thanks to my past experiences, I know what to look for in a writing buddy. All I can say is be cautious and watch people’s motivations. Have fun in your writing community, and try to find others who genuinely appreciate you.
  1. Are you progressing? – If you follow my blog, then you know progression is an important goal to me. In your writing Community, you want to measure your improvement. You can ask yourself the following questions:
  • Are you gaining more followers and readers?
  • Are you uploading new content faster? (motivated for your readers)
  • Are you winning any writing contest?
  • Are you inspired to be involved in the community?
  • Are you making genuine writer friends?

If you answer no to any of those questions, then ask why? You may find the community you are using isn’t right for you. If it isn’t, remember, that’s ok! There is nothing wrong with feeling like a certain website isn’t the place for you.

I can say from my own experiences that leaving behind some writing websites worked out best for me. When I originally started writing fanfiction on Wattpad, that community worked for me. However, now since I’m older and working on original stories, Writing.com has proven to be a better environment. On Writing.com, I won 1st place in one writing contest and got an honorable mention in another. So, you see, leaving behind one community for another isn’t a bad thing ^__^

I hope this post will help new writers and experienced writers find a community that works for them. There are many websites out there, so don’t limit yourself to a place where you are not happy.

What writing community do you use, and are you progressing there?

 

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50 thoughts on “How to Measure a Writing Community

  1. Wow, congrats on your writing.com win! That is so awesome 🙂 I agree a good writing community is essential to your growth not only as a writer, but indeed a person. WordPress has been that place for me. I have seen growth of followers, more interactions, and I feel I have made some writing friends, if I may be so bold to assume that. Reader response has inspired and compelled me to try and be a better writer and bring quality work to my blog. As for Wattpad, I am still there, but growth isn’t as much as WordPress, though in the past week or so I have gotten a little more notice. Nothing to celebrate just yet, but I’m trying to give it a shot. I get discouraged there sometimes but I do like the layout of the app as it helps me in my editing process, but depending on what happens in the future I’m not sure if I’ll with Wattpad or not. I completely understand your reasoning on not being fulfilled there. All your points are correct. They need to redo their awards system big time, as well as their promoting stories process. Again, congrats to you over at writing.com. To be honest I’ve never tried it there. Perhaps I need to look into it soon. Omg, I’m rambling again, lol…I’m out 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much!

      Oh yes! I never knew the joys of a good writing community until I started using WordPress more and moved to Writing.com.

      I’m sure you’ve made some writer friends. We’re friends =) Well, if you’ll have me as a friend :3

      I hope Wattpad works out for you, but yeah, at least my ranting does have some truth to it. I don’t feel like sites like Wattpad care about quality. They seem to only care about popularity, so it feels like a teen writing site, well, to me anyway. I know some writers who have had some success there, but they spend every waking moment on the site. I don’t want to spend that kind of time giving someone else money, sorry.

      And thanks! It’s a good site, and I feel like quality and reviews means more there than on sites like Wattpad. I also like the people who run the site. They are both writers themselves lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve thought about writing.com but know very little about it to be honest. You are very correct about wattpad seeming to be a teen site. In some cases I would go even further and say it’s a preteen diary site. Right now I have my writing there just as a placeholder and to see if there are any potential readers. Not many so far. I try not to tie up too much time there. There’s a few stories I read but that’s about it. I have little hope for it, though I did apply to promote one of my stories. With all that said though, I think I need to explore other avenues if I want to be seen and read. 😉

        Congrats again and thank you for running a blog I always come back to, my friend 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s cool! Congrats on the win and honorable mention! I haven’t submitted for contests mostly because I haven’t looked for them. But I do have a few publications I submit to from time to time. I’m glad you’re beginning to find your niche! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s awesome. Congrats on your recognition. It seems like its more genuine than what you were experiencing on Wattpad.

    On your recommendation, I signed up but don’t really understand how to navigate or connect. I’ll keep working on it.

    I’m really glad you found a fit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! And yeah, it is =)

      I hope you like the site! It’s hard to navigate at first, but the best thing to do is look for contests to enter. There is always some kind of contest going on. That way, you’ll get more expourse for your work and people will leave you reviews. =)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would if I had a paid membership, but I don’t want to pay until I know I can use the site. It’s a bit of a catch-22. So far it has felt very unwelcoming and empty. I guess you have to pay to get past that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry you’ve had that experience so far =( When I first joined, I had a free membership. However, I still posted my stories. One of my stories was featured in a newsletter. Then after that, someone gifted me with a paid membership. I kept doing reviews and contest on the site to earn gift points, and with my gift points, I was able to purchase my own membership. For you, I would say just post your work and search around the site. If you like it, then you can consider staying if you want.

        In the end, I also advise writers to do what they feel is best. Not every writing site will be a good fit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, that helps to know how you did it. I haven’t posted because I didn’t understand the point of it, just another place to copy/paste my work.

        I won’t give up yet. I’ll start posting some stories and fill the boxes I do understand and see what happens from there.

        It’s not that I don’t like the site. It’s just that I don’t understand it. It’s sort of like a Mac user using a PC or vice versa.

        Thanks for sharing your experience. That helps.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just looked. The handle is “Kecia.” I posted a short story I’m working on into my portfolio. I tried to write in the bio-box, too, but not sure I did.

        The story I posted is a misfit because it comes from a semi-sci-fi background but doesn’t have a lot of sci-fi elements within. It’s a side adventure, only three scenes taken from a larger world.

        I think the story is fun, but might pose too many back-world questions. Perhaps it’s one I should keep to myself or only show alongside the rest of the series.

        Still deciding. Anyway, what I do with the story partly depends on how people receive it. Are they left scratching their heads or do they accept it for the light piece I intend it to be? Hard to tell without feedback.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations! It’s nice to hear that you’ve found an online writing community that works so well for you. I keep thinking about joining Writing.com. I just haven’t been able to talk myself into it yet. For now, I enjoy hearing about your journey. I have a local writing group, which is tremendously helpful in my growth as a writer. I think an online writing community might help me grow my online presence, and I really enjoy helping and encouraging other writers. I just have some other reservations that I have to work through yet.
    An excellent reminder to not get competitive as well. Other writers are probably the greatest pool of potential readers out there, so you don’t want to alienate those people by being jealous. Besides, I feel like the more we encourage each other, the quality of writing goes up and the number of readers increases with the number of writers. I know as a writer, I’ve switched the last few months to almost exclusively reading the work of emerging writers who are posting their stories on their websites, and I absolutely love it. There are two other writers who’ve commented on your blog above who I follow now, and I find more writers all the time and it’s truly amazing to interact and to read what’s being produced online. I suppose that is part of the point of joining a writing community.
    I guess I’ve already started to become part of an online writing community without realizing it.
    Great post, and happy writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! And you should totally do what works for you =)

      I talk about different writing sites because it gives writers options on places to join. There are so many writing websites now, it can be overwhelming.

      That’s awesome you are part of a local writers group. Actually, I’m going to look for a real life writers group next month. An online community is fun, but real life groups can be more engaging.

      You make a good point, and that’s something I was bad at when I first started writing. I won’t lie, I was jealous of my fellow writers, but now I just want to learn from them =)

      I totally agree with you – meeting and reading other writers’ stories is so much fun. I’m glad you were able to find new writers through my blog. Thanks! I’m so glad you liked this blog post.

      I wanted my blog to be a hub for writers, and I guess I accomplished that goal. ^__^

      Like

    • Mandie,
      I really liked what you share. I want to find a community writing group, but am also considering an online community. Do you know how that usually works? Are you assigned to a group? Or is it just like a page where people post their writing? It seems like that would swell with a multitude of works.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Good questions, Ben. I turn to Akaluv for all things related to online writing communities. I haven’t found an online writing community that works for me yet. Other than, I suppose the ones I find by visiting with other bloggers who come and comment on my site or whose sites I visit. We give each other feedback once in a while.
        Since my initial response to this post, I have dabbled in Writing.com. It’s involves creating a personal profile and linking your work to your profile and asking other writers to come and review and rate your writing; although, other writers can stumble upon your work randomly too. A great introduction with that site is that there’s a place that lists the work of new members (people who have been on the site 30 days or less). So it’s more likely to have your work reviewed.
        So, in other words, it’s not like a specific group that you get assigned to and work with frequently. You can get critiqued by anyone who uses the site. I hope this helps some. Best of luck! I hope you find a group either locally or online (maybe even both) that works well for you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great job with that contest, for starters!
    I really like WordPress! However, i think you’ve read some of my posts before condemning the atmosphere of blogging on WordPress. I don’t think any one venue is perfect. It just depends on what works for you, and what you are really searching for. Maybe the really popular people on Wattpad found what they wanted? I’m not sure. Once again, it depends on what you are searching for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! And I remember you mentioned something about that. And oh, of course! It totally depends on what you are looking for. Sadly, I use Wattpad a kit because that’s where many of my experiences came from. Overall, though, that is what this article is about. When you measure a writing community, it’s to find what you are looking for. Basically, are you happy there?

      I figure most writers don’t want to stay where they are miserable. And I’m sure most of the popular writers on Wattpad found happiness there, but if you are a writer that didn’t, then that’s not the place for you.

      It’s like being in a relationship. If you don’t see yourself with the person long term, then why are you sticking around?

      =) I didn’t see a marriage in the future or a website I wanted to raise my children with (my characters).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha, I don’t know about that =) I just wanted to have a good comparison to explain what I met. I know I come off as a Wattpad basher, but I don’t want anyone to be as miserable as I was, so I just warn new and experienced writers before using certain sites.

        Thanks for responding to me :3

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey, I was once on Wattpad too. You’re right about one thing: most of the content on their is crappy, and totally undeserving of all the attention!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lol, thanks =) I think that site focuses on stories for just entertainment than quality of writing. Sadly, I feel like you need both in the real world, or everyone will look at you like E.L James – a writer who just got lucky by writing smut.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I do think so too that the community plays an important part in it, and for me, popularity isn’t really my goal, but there are some communities there which are more focused on improving one’s craft. And well, it is important, since a reader’s input can really help a lot, at least to me, since I had a reader who gave me a lot of encouragement and lots of ideas surprisingly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think community is a huge part of a writer’s journey. A good community can help inspire a writer to improve or to give up. It’s good you are enjoying your writing community =)

      I’m enjoying Writing.com, and I feel it was a good move for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: How to Measure a Writing Community — A.M.Bradley | Arrowhead Freelance and Publishing

  8. I was in a writing community in real life, and then I wound up on HollysWritingClasses.com when I moved to a smaller town that didn’t have quite as many options. I’ve been there for a matter of years, now. I’m also just getting into AbsoluteWrite. I’ll have to look into some of the other ones that are mentioned here.
    My big motivation, though for all of them is #2–the support and encouragement. That someone understands and values what I’m trying to do. The sense of togetherness is so important!

    Like

  9. The problem with me is that I loved to write when I was in school, but now life for me has taken it’s toll and it’s hard to get the creative juices pumping to get any good content. I just started blogging, but I am trying to use blogs with a new concept and I have not idea if i’m even headed in the right direction.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. All good points! Thank you for sharing. This has made me rethink my (non-online in-person physical-location) writing community, from town to town, and for me it seems that the top priority is maintaining writer friends, more than content or anything else. This may be different in online communities. Nevertheless, this has been a useful post. Peace!

    Liked by 1 person

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