November is a significant month in a writer’s calendar because it is the month of AcWriMo (academic writing month) and NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month). Both occasions aim to celebrate writers and motivate them to complete their writing projects. AcWriMo and NaNoWriMo encourage sharing writing challenges and accountability in keeping with the writing goals. And one way to keep oneself on track with writing goals is joining a writing group or finding a writing buddy.
Finding a writing buddy can help you share your ups and downs with other writers, who will likely experience similar struggles and successes, and keep each other motivated. Read this post to learn how to find a writing buddy this November or whenever you need peer support with your writing project.
- What is a writing buddy?
- How to find a writing buddy offline?
- How to find a writing buddy online?
- How to post an ad when looking for a writing buddy?
What is a writing buddy?
A writing buddy, critique partner or accountability partner can help you achieve your writing goals by sharing the writing struggles, lack of motivation or bouts of procrastination. However, finding a writing buddy means sharing the negative and positive aspects of writing, such as celebrating accomplishing the goals and milestones. It goes both ways, so when your buddy struggles, you also need to show up for them and support them through the thick and thin of writing.
How to find a writing buddy offline?
There are several ways to find a writing buddy across different online platforms and in real, offline life. So, let’s start with ways to find a writing buddy in your offline local community.
Check local community centres and libraries
Libraries and community centres often have books-related groups, which may include writing groups. They may meet regularly to read and critique each other’s work and share writing resources they have found. If your local community does not have a writing group, it may be worth starting your own group. For instance, you could approach the library or community centre staff to check if they would support the group in their facilities.
Start a writing group
To find a writing buddy, consider starting your own group. But before you invite local writers to join you, consider the rules that will guide the group’s premise and establish the answers to the following questions:
- What is the aim or objective of the group (e.g. sharing inspiration, critiquing each other’s work, ensuring accountability or meeting milestones)?
- What is the scope of the group’s meetings (e.g. only writing or also publishing, editing and marketing books?)
- Who can join the group (for instance, in terms of writing experience and progression of their writing project)?
- How will the critique or feedback be delivered? (in-person, written reports, marked-up text)?
Next, figure out the practicalities of the meetings:
- Time and place,
- Frequency (weekly, bi-monthly or monthly),
- Duration (one hour or longer),
- Format (a single text or multiple discussed each time).
Finally, and most importantly, invite local writers to join your writing group. You could publish an ad in your local newspaper or put flyers in the local shops’ windows. However, creating a group on meetup.com would be an even more straightforward and less time-consuming way of finding a writing buddy.
Check national and regional associations for writers
In many countries, there are national and regional organisations which support writers by offering information, advice and funding. For instance, here is a complete list published by Penguin of national and local-level organisations supporting writers across the UK. You can contact them to get information on the existing writing networks in your area. These organisations can also offer help when you decide to set up your own writing group by, for instance, including information about your initiative in the communications to their members. There may be funding available to support your writing group.
Ask a friend to check on your progress
A writing buddy does not have to be a writer. It usually works best between two (or more) writers because it facilitates mutual help and support, but it may not always be necessary. If you want to find a writing buddy to monitor your progress and make sure you meet your milestones, anyone can be your writing buddy. A friend, a family member or a neighbour who agrees to help you be accountable and monitor your writing progress can be your writing buddy.
How to find a writing buddy online?
Nowadays, writers increasingly more often choose to network with other writers online. There is an array of platforms and sites designed to cater to the needs of writers, such as accountability, manuscript critique, peer support or advice from like-minded individuals.
Join a Facebook group
Facebook has tonnes of groups for writers where you can find a writing buddy.
Writers Unite! (WU!) Facebook group has over 73,000 members. The group undoubtedly offers you an opportunity to find a perfect writing buddy. Its mission is to support and encourage writers at all levels of knowledge and experience. WU! enables writers to share their writing, receive and provide constructive feedback, and answer questions posted by members related to their writing.
Insecure Writer’s Support Group has over 5,000 members. Its mission is to share and encourage. There, writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.
10 Minute Novelists Group is devoted to helping time-crunched writers. The group helps develop the habit of writing, learning the craft and building writer’s careers in small increments of time. It boasts nearly 17,000 members and encourages members to ask questions, engage with others and volunteer help and advice.
Join a writing community
Among countless online writing communities, you can join one of those specialised groups that focus on the genre of your text. Alternatively, consider joining a larger group with a broader scope to increase your chance of finding a writing buddy.
General online writing groups
Critique Circle is free to join and claims to be one of the oldest online groups for writers. Founded in 2003, it claims to be closing in on one million served critiques.
Camp NaNoWriMo is a month-long collective writing challenge occurring every April and July. In contrast to the November NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month), the Camp offers the flexibility of setting your word count challenge. (In comparison, the annual November NaNoWriMo challenges you to write a 50,000-word novel.)
Scribophile boasts of being one of the largest and most award-winning online writing communities. It offers free and premium (paid) membership options, and all members must follow its code of conduct.
Accountabuddy Exchange allows you to find someone to hold you accountable, cheer you on and help you back up when you fall down. The Exchange features a simple form to fill in when looking for a writing buddy.
WriteWithMe is a Reddit community offering help to find a writing partner. It has over 7,000 members, and its only purpose is to facilitate finding a writing buddy or a beta reader; it does not allow posting any other type of content.
Genre-specific online writing groups
Camp Memoir is a writing group dedicated to memoir authors. There, you can share your writing goals and access their extensive resource library.
Speculative Fiction Writers Association meets weekly on Zoom to discuss writing topics and critique each other’s work. They invite science fiction writers working on fiction, fantasy, horror, time travel, climate fiction/solar-punk, slipstream, steampunk, weird west, fairy tales, alternate history, dystopian/utopian or cyberpunk for MG, YA and adults.
Lovers and Friends: Writing Group for Romance Writers enables accountability and community building. Lovers and Friends meet weekly on Zoom, welcoming all romance subgenres. They write, connect, ask questions and share snippets of each other’s work.
Chronicles is a science fiction and fantasy community. Their writing forums provide help and feedback on writing, including general writing queries, discussions about agents, editors and publishers, as well as writing resources and a section for critiques.
Therapeutic Writing Group helps members foster insight and self-awareness as well as generate support from others through the process of writing. This group may be beneficial for writers working on self-help or self-development manuscripts.
Writing Historical Fiction group is for individuals seeking active support from others who love historical fiction. This includes those who love writing historical fiction, love reading historical fiction, are agents representing historical fiction writers or publishers of historical fiction.
Post regular updates on your website, blog or social media
If you want a writing buddy to measure your accountability, consider using social media, your blog or website instead. Post regularly on X (Twitter), Discord or Mastodon and inform your followers about the progress of your writing project. Use hashtags such as #IAmWriting or #WritingCommunity to attract the relevant audience.
How to post an ad when looking for a writing buddy?
When posting online in search of a writing buddy, make sure to include the following details:
- The genre of your text,
- A summary of your text, for instance, an abstract for non-fiction and the plot line summary or a blurb for fiction,
- Your level of experience (how many years you have been writing),
- The level of progression of your writing project (e.g. just started, stuck on chapter 3, finished manuscript),
- What you are looking for in a writing buddy (e.g. sharing inspiration, critiquing each other’s work, ensuring accountability or meeting milestones),
- Your contact details (your website, email address or social media handles).
Finding the right writing buddy may be crucial to pushing your manuscript to the finishing line, whether you need support with accountability, manuscript critique or the loneliness of the writing process.
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