How You Defined Community

This Week In Writing, we reflect on the meaning of ‘community’ by reading through your responses.

How You Defined Community
Photo by SJ Objio / Unsplash

A few weeks ago, I asked you to define community. I’m exploring what this word means in our world today while aiming to build our writing community into something extraordinary. This newsletter includes your comments and some follow-up questions posed to everyone. Please feel free to chime in and continue the conversation.

Community Is A Place For Accountability

It would be helpful if the admins/leaders of the group would come up with a tool to monitor progress. Invillea Writings (link)

Goal setting and encouragement go hand in hand. Right now, there isn’t a mechanism for The Writing Cooperative to aid in your goals and accountability. This is something I need to think about. Are there more of you interested in something like this?

Community Is A Place For Support

I think too many great voices are suppressed because the publishing industry wields too much power (and they often choose wrong). If everyone in the writing community purchased and reviewed 10 independent books a year, I think we’d discover a lot of quality work. Walter Rhein (link)

I love the idea of directly supporting each other by purchasing and reviewing independent books. I currently interview an author every week (often a first-time author). Maybe more can be done to help promote other books without getting spammy. Does anyone have a suggestion?

Community Is A Place For Feedback

A space to ask questions and receive answers from various view points is what I look for in a community. Writing is so individualistic and through a community we get a chance to copy, iterate, glean and even steal ideas and ideals in an attempt to form our own. Akshay Gajria (link)
Community (to me) consists of writers who are there to help each other out as opposed to spamming each other out. It welcomes honest feedback instead of the fear of sounding like an A..a foul individual). RJ Reyes (link)

Both of the comments above discuss receiving feedback (and not spam) that helps each other grow. That concept is the ultimate goal of the publication, but a community feels bigger than the comment section on articles. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great place to start a conversation, but it might not be the best place to grow the community. What these two comments describe aligns with my goals for the Writing Community on Twitter, but we still have work to do there. How can I better aid collaboration and feedback for you?

Community Is Not A Place Of Overwhelm

I signed up for several communities when I began writing seriously 3 years ago. It became overwhelming with many emails and many articles.Aloha Writers (via email)

My goal is never to add to the noise. This Week In Writing is and will always be a weekly newsletter. However, other platforms hosting our community come with their notifications. Both Medium and Twitter come with constant notifications, which can become overwhelming as the community grows. I encourage you to determine what level of interruption you’re comfortable with and adjust your notifications and engagement accordingly.

Community Is A Place Of Belonging

Community is about belonging. … A community is essentially the collection of relationships and conversations within it. Lisa McAully (link)

I couldn’t agree with this statement more. I hope that you feel accepted and welcome to connect and participate with every part of our community. Whatever we build, we’re building together.

Please continue this conversation by replying and adding your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.

A version of this article also appeared on Medium.