I’m an introvert, and having to be “on” for long periods of time leaves me exhausted. I also have social anxiety, and have had panic attacks while out in public. Working from home — quiet, calm, and with my three cats for company — makes me feel safe. I love that being a writer makes this possible.
But I credit my success — my ability to sustain this lifestyle — with the community I’ve built up around me. Through Twitter. Through Brazen Careerist and the Young Entrepreneur Council. Through past projects and jobs. Through this blog. So I was thrilled to get the chance to hang out in Carol Tice’s Freelance Writers Den, a virtual community for freelance writers, as a guest on her weekly podcast.
On my first visit to the Den, I kicked off my shoes and made myself comfortable. I wandered the forums, where there were active discussions going on about publications, marketing tactics, contract negotiations, and more. There were also forums dedicated to goal setting and accountability partners, and one board filled with writerly resources — a virtual library.
Over in the Learning Corner, I found links to e-courses on content mills, business and marketing basics, boosting rates, and building an online platform.
The events page was filled with info on Carol’s monthly webinars and weekly podcasts, like the one I’d been a guest on just yesterday. (p.s. If you weren’t able to make it, and would like to hear us chat about freelance startup plans, you can still register for the Den and head on over to the Multimedia Shelf to access a recording.)
There was also a Junk-Free Job Board, specially curated to eliminate the flim-flam you typically find around the Internet.
Finally, I took a look at the other writers involved in running the den, and was duly impressed. Linda Formichelli, for example — one of my other fave writing gurus — is a fellow Den mother!
We all build community in different ways. Why?
- Your community can give advice when you’re facing a particularly difficult writing conundrum.
- Your community can share contacts, and even pass along job leads.
- Your community can open your eyes to new and fantastic resources.
- Your community can provide you with tough love, accountability, and critiques.
- Your community can provide opportunities for pretty damn exciting collaborations.
- Your community can keep you sane when your most in-depth conversations happen to occur between you and your cats.
- If you build authentic connections among your community — and maintain them — you’ll eventually find that freelance writing success doesn’t have to be chased down. Instead, it comes to you.
If you’re curious about the Freelance Writers Den (and for more than just hearing my melodious voice on that podcast recording), I highly recommend registering to become a member. Freelancing can be a lonely endeavor. But we should strive to connect, and to support each other.
Related: Using Twitter to Achieve World Domination (in Your Field), How to Harness the Power of NaNoWriMo… All Year Long, Motivational Trick: Fear (of Letting Others Down), Are Professional Organizations Worth the Cost?
*This post contains affiliate links… but know that if I’m plugging something , I truly believe it’s holy-shit-fantastic.