In addition to reading, it’s vital for a writer to have a community around them: people to bounce ideas off of, edit work, and for inspiration. I have previously found myself involved in many writing communities, mainly from the sports blogs I wrote for.
However, when asked to do a free write in class about the circles I was involved in, I found myself a little lacking. Having stopped writing for those blogs, the first grouping that came to my mind was academic. My free write exploring these communities is below.
The first community I am involved in, which takes up the overwhelmingly majority of my time is the academic one. Here I write essay after essay of textual analysis, subject research, all while being drilled on the importance of a thesis. This community requires I write for grades, so I stay tethered to the guidelines set by my professors. This writing is less creative, less personal, but it is informative, and if done correctly, also proves that you were paying attention.
The other community is not really a community, but my former roommates who interned with me last summer. One a sportswriter and the other a screenwriter, two areas that are usually my main fortes. Within this community, we exchange work rapid fire: the screenwriter and I pass back and forth scrips, marking them up, giving them the second pair eyes treatment. With the sportswriter, I share less of my own work and more of other’s people. We send articles to each other, superfluous caption of “this is great writing” unneeded. We help each other discover the spirit of great writing in hope that we can capture that feeling in our own work.
With that community, my style of communication is more venacular, riddled with bad jokes and sarcasm, and is unfortunately not in line with what my professors want turned in. However, both of these communities are helpful: one for polish, and one for creativity.