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Jennifer Crusie, Jerry Jenkins, Writing Communities and Tamagatchis

Online writing communities: In some ways, I used to liken them to those digital pets kids used to tote around, Tamagatchis. Roughly the size of an egg, you nurtured your puppy on a petite screen, while your real puppy sat by his empty dish, bored, with heart-breaking puppy eyes beaming skyward. Similar to a neglected manuscript, it made me wonder: Why waste time talking about writing and fostering a presence online when you could make a few clicks and actually write?

Eventually, though, I poked around a few sites, chatted with some people involved, and dove in—which revealed that the communities can be more than a mere scoop of digital food in a digital bowl. The networking can be great, the camaraderie a wellspring of support (even in the face of soul-destroying rejections), the inspiration inspiring, and overall the right site can be a great complement to your actual writing—if you spend your time properly, as bestseller Jennifer Crusie points out in the latest from the Top 20 Tips From WD in 2009 series.

No. 9: Smart, Savvy Support
“Don’t get caught up in the politics and don’t take anything personally. Think globally, act locally and ignore the wingnuts, and you can gain a lot from becoming active in a writing community. The bottom line is that if you’re going to survive in publishing, you need a smart, savvy support group that understands your needs and problems.”
—Author Jennifer Crusie, from our October 2009 issue (click here to check it out).

Also from that issue (tip No. 8.5?), here’s a simple yet practical tip from Jerry B. Jenkins on the topic.
“Google ‘[your city or genre] writers groups’ and you’ll be amazed at what you find. You’re anything but alone in this loneliest of professions.”

Have a great weekend. (A post involving mid-90s toy metaphors? It can only be Friday.)

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WRITING PROMPT: This?!

Feel free to take the following prompt home or post your response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings.

It’s been days.
You’re dehydrated and wild-eyed.
And now this.
You traveled all this way for this?

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Speaking of writing communities, befriend Zac on the new (Tamagatchi-free) Writer’s Digest community, or befriend Promptly on Facebook!

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