My fiction writing has benefitted greatly from interactions with the writing community. From the accountability supported by daily updates, to critique, to discussions of characterization and worldbuilding, I’d have made considerably less progress and felt much more isolated without my writers’ circle. And that circle wouldn’t exist without chat app Discord.
Discord is most popular with the gaming crowd, but it’s fully-featured enough to be useful to anyone who wants to share semi-in-real-time conversation with like-minded persons online. It’s also not so burdened with feature-itis that it’s a headache to manage (looking at you, Slack). After growing desperate in my pandemic isolation earlier this year and reaching out on the NaNoWriMo.org forums, I discovered that many active and lively writers’ groups existed on the platform, and thus created one to attract science fiction writers specifically. Having enjoyed the camaraderie and insight of new friends from around the world, I’ve been kicking myself for waiting so long to explore chat. (Call me “social media”-averse, I guess.)
When I drag myself across the finish line for my long fiction project, my group members will deserve part of the credit. Their encouragement has been invaluable during moments when—as happens to anyone toiling away in lonely obscurity—I’ve questioned my own skill and sanity. Sometimes, you need an outside perspective (from a kindred spirit) to tell you your folly is worth pursuit.