If you’ve been looking around but still don’t know where to find a writing partner, I’ve got a few ideas! But first, let’s talk about what a writing partner is. A writing partner is so much more than just a brainstorming buddy or a critique partner. A writing partner is a rare and precious gem, someone who not only wants to read your work so you’ll read theirs, but someone who wants to invest themselves in you and your writing.
A writing partner:
- Cheers you on
- Talks you off ledges
- Celebrates your victories
- Shares your disappointments
As you may have already guessed, this kind of relationship doesn’t develop overnight. Like all good relationships, this special relationship will develop through shared experience, over time. But you have to start somewhere, right? Where on Earth do you find those elusive, one-of-a-kind treasures? (If you’re like me, you’ll probably need to pray a lot in addition to everything else!)
Where to Find a Writing Partner
There are a few great places to find a writing partner, and most of them will require you to get out of your comfort zone and develop relationships. Remember, you don’t want to take the first chump that offers to be your partner—that goes for all relationships, really—because being without a writing partner is better than having a bad one.
Nothing beats meeting people in person and sharing the experience of a good writers conference. You’ll find out whether or not you click in real life, and you’ll find out more about the person behind the critiques and brainstorms and suggestions than you ever could by just meeting online. Often, people will meet online then get to know each other at conferences, which works also.
Local Writers Groups
Local writers groups are great for what they can offer you in group support. In addition to that, you might find someone you click with personally who can offer support on a different level. The harder part about local groups is the members often write genres that are all over the board, which may or may not work out. Again, in-person contact offers you a clearer perspective of a potential writing partner than you would get online.
If you’re serious about your writing, it’s time to join a serious organization. I’ve been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America for several years. When you join an organization, there are plenty of opportunities to get to know other writers and form relationships. This is how I found all three of the writers who have been integral to my journey. Within ACFW, there’s even a critique group you can join—a place where you can get objective advice without knowing anyone first. (Bear in mind that a critique partner is not the same as an overall writing partner.)
There are myriad choices when it comes to finding other writers online. You can join websites, Facebook groups and writers forums. After a lot of interaction over time, you really can get to know people pretty well. I would say that it takes an extra dose of caution when getting to know people solely online, but oftentimes it’s the only option.
There you have it—4 places to find a writing partner. Don’t rush the process, but at the same time don’t procrastinate. Sometimes we need to just put ourselves out there and connect with others who understand the hardships and the victories. Writing is a solitary enough activity, which is why it’s so important to have people who really “get” you and want to be part of your journey. By the same measure, you need to invest yourself in theirs.