Those of you who follow my Facebook page have probably noticed I’ve been posting some shorts and chapter previews over at Figment.com (which used to be Inkpop) lately. Why? Because Figment is an online writing community and as I was recently told, you need more than one outlet for critiques. I can’t always get together with my groups in the “real” world, so having a group online means I can “meet” with folks on my own terms in my own time. Not a bad thing when you can’t sleep at night. Log on, read some stories and comment. Most of those people will do the same for you in return next time they log on.
While the site seems dominated with younger writers and the comments they post may not be the most helpful, I feel it gives me a chance to help inspiring authors not give up. To give them real advice and make sure it’s not delivered in a negative way. I wish such a place had existed when I started writing. Maybe I wouldn’t have put down my pen for years if I had Figment for an outlet and feedback.
Another perk about belong to and playing around with Figment is that they often run contests. I recently entered one where the prize is being published as part of an anthology along with great writers like Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Hawkins and Beth Revis. It will be put out by Harper Teen. That’s a big deal! There’s also a cash prize, which is always nice, but I would take the publication cred over the money.
Their contests are on different themes which often makes me think outside the box and maybe outside my comfort zone. I think it’s important to push yourself. How do you know you’re good at horror writing, or poetry or short stories if you don’t ever try to write them. Am I right?
Belonging to this site also helps me to promote myself. As I stated, much of the community is young writers. Young writers are also young readers which are my intended audience! They may not have a lot of money to spend but if they enjoy the short stuff I post, maybe they’ll be interested to see I’ve written full length novels and want to buy them. It couldn’t hurt to try! It’s all about getting your name out there.
There are several other sites out there similar to Figment, so be sure to look around and find an online writing community that works for you. A good writer needs more than one so don’t be afraid to branch out.
Do you belong to an online writing community? Which and would you recommend it to others?