“It’s a fact universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a pen/typewriter/computer must be in want of a brainstorming partner.” – Jane Austen in 2018
It’s a common belief that writing is a solitary endeavour—you see that notion everywhere. It’s perhaps the reason why many of us writers blog; because we are lonely and want to connect to other lonely writers out there.
Personally, I think writing is the most fun when we co-write. However, not everyone can do that.
What we can all do, however… is find buddies to brainstorm!
Brainstorming, for me, is one of the most fun—and most challenging—aspects of writing. Sometimes ideas are difficult to come by, sometimes they just don’t seem to fit, and sometimes you’re too worried whether they’re original enough to do anything with them!
Finding friends to help you through the process is vital to a healthy writing life. Many published authors give long lists in their acknowledgements of those who helped them along the way. And so much the better if those friends are also writers themselves!
There are so many benefits to brainstorming buddies: they get you out of your own head, and every one has different things they focus on, so they can potentially point out something you’ve missed or help point you to a character that needs more attention. There must be a good reason why TV shows often have so many writers attached to them!
However, not all of us automatically have these friends we can turn to. I seldom discuss my writing with my face-to-face friends in much detail. My writing friends are all connected to me through the Internet, and I consider myself very blessed to have them. They have brainstormed with me, encouraged me, and helped me to power through when my personal anxiety all but physically limits me.
Though it can be tricky to navigate online, sometimes you have to take those hard journeys to get to where you need to be. Thankfully, we have a list of places you can explore to find those ideal brainstorming/writing buddies! This list is in no way complete, so feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.
• Facebook: Don’t run away! Facebook isn’t always the best, but there are scores of groups on it that you can explore. I have connected to multiple writer friends through it.
• National Novel Writing Month Groups: If you join, there are forums where you can look for critique partners.
• Tumblr: Again, like Facebook, Tumblr can be a bit scary. But if you can find some reputable blogs, you may find common interests with either the blog runner or their followers! Personally I like to follow critique blogs to make myself aware of the various issues in the publishing world right now, to inform myself so I avoid certain mistakes in my own writing. It’s not quite a writing buddy, but what I’ve learned from the blogs I’ve followed has been instrumental.
• Writing Blogs (Like us! 😊 ): Writing blogs like this one are meant to connect people with each other. Whether through the comments, the Facebook page/group, or on other linked social media, we hope to continue to encourage and challenge one another on this 100-day writerly “pilgrimage.”