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Writers’ Forums: helpful or a waste of time? February 2, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in Novel, On Writing.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve never been a big fan of online chit chat with people I don’t know.  As a result, I’ve generally tried to avoid online forums of any kind.

But as a writer working on my first draft, I sometimes get overwhelmed by insecurities.  Is my writing technique up to scratch?  Does my plot make sense?  Are my characters too cliched?  Do I even know what I’m doing?

I was alerted to the Absolute Writer Water Cooler a couple of weeks ago, and I must say it is a fantastic community for aspiring writers to at least check out occasionally, if not join.  The front page might seem a little overwhelming at first because of the plethora of different categories, but once you spend a bit of time there you’ll see it’s not so intimidating (it’s even got a sub-page on Blogging – there’s even a debate about whether WordPress or Blogger is better!)

It’s not just a place to ask and get answers to your stupid questions (though you can certaintly  do that) – I found that there are many useful posts for aspiring writers and novel enthusiats of all genres – whether its helpful tips or friendly advice.  You can even ask visting literary agents and editors your questions about publishing.

I try not to spend too much time there though – once you get into it you might find yourself stuck for hours.  But it’s good to see that there are so many other writers out there trying to fulfil their dreams.  It’s not a bad place to go once in a while to get a little bit of inspiration or confirmation.

Are there any other good forums for writers out there?


1. Digital Dame - February 3, 2009

Well, I think these can be a double-edged sword. They CAN be useful, but they can also suck up a LOT of time. :) Kind of like blogging. Heh. I’ve been a member of a few online Yahoo chat groups for writers, and some of it has been useful, but many of them are just critique groups, and people sitting around shredding other people’s writing.

One thing I get that I find useful is the Writers’ Weekly newsletter. Her “Whispers and Warnings” alone is probably enough to make it worthwhile. Angela is a great advocate for writers, too.

pacejmiller - February 4, 2009

Hi Digital Dame! The Internet in general has been sucking up too much of my time lately. Thanks for the Writers’ Weekly newsletter! I will check it out. Keep up the good work yourself!

2. justwritecat - August 15, 2009

Thank you for the info on Writers’ Weekly…I will check that out. I agree that it’s easy to fall into the ‘time-sucks’ trap. I came across that term in an article in Writers Digest…great term, time-suck. The author was referring to facebook, blogs, whatever you spend your time on rather than writing. Like now. I have 25,000 words more to go on my first manuscript, but what am I doing…browsing blogs. I will say that a bit of browsing in the morning sometimes helps me relax, so that I can then focus, get into my characters and write. Guess browsing is not a total waste of time. :) Seriously…I often get energized reading posts on writing. Or rather, reading posts by people pursuing the same dream…to become a published author who can bring something to her readers. Thanks for your post! JustWriteCat Catherine

3. elfcountess - March 1, 2010


Forums belong on two hands I think! On one hand it’s good to read what other writers need a little help with – you can always put your own oar in, but, on the other hand… forums can be very time consuming! Often I’ll go on and think I’ll just read one more… just one more… then I see another interesting one so I’ll have to read that too…


pacejmiller - March 1, 2010

Totally agree there. I haven’t read any forums for quite a while…though I haven’t written much creatively for a while either!

4. elfcountess - March 1, 2010

Sorry, I’m very new to wordpress and as much as I’d like to follow your blog, I can’t as I don’t know how to follow on this site!

pacejmiller - March 1, 2010

To be honest I don’t really know either! I think you can just bookmark it, or try the RSS feed subscription at the bottom of the right hand column…

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