Serious writers know that joining an online editing community is a great way to improve their writing ability. Of course, there are many ways to work on your craft, but consistently writing and receiving feedback from other writers is a time-tested method of success.
Sharing your work with others can be intimidating, though. You may know it would improve your writing, but it can take some extra convincing to take the leap of faith and sign up for an online community. We’ve compiled a list of significant benefits you can receive from joining that online editing community you’ve been mustering up the courage to join.
Most editing and writing communities are built upon a foundation of trust and support. One of the things that makes these communities so appealing is that everybody participates in improving their writing. When everyone is showing up to participate, everyone gets better.
It’s also true that there are many highs and lows associated with committing yourself to any activity. With writing, serious veterans are aware of these seasons. Participating in a writing community not only improves your existing writing skills but also equips you with various “tricks of the trade” that lead to better writing habits. As a result, you’ll both improve your writing skills as well as your longevity in the industry.
Additionally, a community gives you chances to meet other like-minded people. Friends can make any activity more enjoyable, and the continued support from a community can benefit your writing and love of the craft.
We mentioned that many writers have some difficulty making that leap to joining an online editing community. That’s true for many reasons, but a common reason we hear is that people are afraid of judgment or that others will think their writing isn’t good.
Though everybody gives and takes feedback differently, one thing that may comfort writers who feel this way is the degree of anonymity that an online community provides. You’re not bringing a hard copy of your script or novel to class for your classmates to mark up. Instead, you’re posting your writing on a submission board where people will only interact with your text itself.
This both means more objective feedback as well as anonymity. If you’re uncomfortable with someone speaking their feedback to you, you’ll receive everything as comments or files.
Reviewing the work of others makes your work better
This is a benefit that not everyone realizes when they first join an online writing community. The action of reviewing the work of others makes you a better writer. Especially when you consider style, the more you read, the more you’ll pick up on things you like and things you like less.
Creative skills are directly benefited by the artist’s interaction with the work of others. Do you know any musicians that don’t themselves listen to a lot of music? What about photographers who don’t review and critique the photos of others? Many writers understand they have to read, but editing unfinished manuscripts are critical as well.
When you’re viewing others’ work, you should think about it in two different ways. Some pieces will be more polished than others, and how you read them should change depending on the type of work you’re reading.
If you’re reading a published novel, that work has already been endlessly peer-reviewed. You will read this with an eye for style and creative inspiration. You can pick up on specific stylistic choices or grammatical constructions.
When reading a manuscript as a part of an editing community, you’re both giving substantive feedback as well as tuning into the editing process they’re on. Many industries, such as screenwriting, have specific industry best practices that are important to learn in addition to writing high-quality content. Being a seasoned editor will help you make sure your drafts are closer to completion than they would be if you never edited.
Potential for Contests
Many online writing communities have benefits in addition to the technical gains you can see in your writing ability. Submitting your work can give you a great indication of how the public will react to your work. One way this can play out is through community acts such as contests. If your online writing community has competitions that can act as motivation and you may even win something!
Contests also benefit writers in many other ways. Unless you’re in school or writing as a career, the absence of a deadline can be very discouraging for many people. Having a set schedule or timeline for your writing can give you a little extra motivation where you otherwise wouldn’t have had as much.
Contests can also act as additional avenues for exposure. Winning a contest looks good on you as a writer regardless of how many people entered. In addition, winning can increase your industry exposure, and many writers get exposed to publishing companies or studios through winning contests online.
Join ScriptMother, your favorite online writing community
Whether you’re a screenwriter, novelist, poet, or any writer dedicated to your craft, you’ll see incredible benefits by making ScriptMother your online writing community. ScriptMother is a growing and dedicated writing community that employs a unique format to its process. You upload your manuscript, and many of our experienced writers will critique your writing of any length.
As you continue working on your manuscript, you’ll also earn credits by reviewing others’ work. Using those credits, you’ll be able to upload additional manuscripts and unlock feedback for your work. In addition, through reviewing the work of others, you’ll be able to receive more feedback yourself, which continues to boost engagement!
With online communities, it’s often said that you get what you give, but ScriptMother makes this a reality. Because writers benefit so much from reading and reviewing the work of others, this format improves not only the specific manuscripts of the writer but also the writing ability, which is what will benefit your work.