• Jessica Grace Coleman

Literary Socialising - How To Start

Writing is well known as being a lonely profession, and if you don’t get out there and mingle with actual, real people every so often, you could find yourself in a bit of a rut – and a bit of a literary pickle. Here are some things you can do to socialise involving your love of literature.

Book Clubs

There are many reasons to join a local book club: the social aspect, expanding your reading list, the love of discussing literature, the food and wine (if it’s that kind of book club), and also the motivation aspect. Seeing how others view and discuss books can give you different perspectives you might not otherwise have been aware of, and it might allow you to think about your own storylines and characters in a different light as well. If you work from home, it’s a good way of getting out the house once a month (or every few weeks, or however long your book club gives you to read a novel), and if you’re in the habit of sticking to the same old genre when it comes to your reading pile, it will help you break out of that habit; book clubs usually read a variety of novels – both classic and contemporary – and it’s a great way of fuelling your love of reading in a different, more social way (especially as reading is a pretty solitary activity!).

Take a look online to see where your local meetings are, or suggest starting a book club within your group of friends. Take it in turn to go to each other’s houses to host, and add in some nibbles and drinks (tea is just as good as wine) to make it more of an occasion. If you often make the excuse that you ‘don’t have time’ to read, this will make you do it, but if you don’t have time to read, do you really have time to be a writer? It’s worth asking the question, and then picking up a book.

Literary Festivals, Writing Workshops, And Other Writing Events

Fans of both reading and writing can find great inspiration at literary festivals, which take place up and down the country throughout the year. You can find out about new releases, talk to other writers, and even meet and hear talks given by famous authors. It’s bound to be inspiring, and you might come away with some great ideas and the desire to sit down and write, write, write! These are generally open to everyone, and they range in scale and format.

If you make the most of the festival you go to – hearing as many speakers as you can, mingling with other writers (and readers), and generally just soaking up as much of the atmosphere (and as much knowledge) as humanly possible, you can’t really not come away feeling inspired, motivated, and pumped to get going with your own work. This is procrastiworking at its finest, mixed as it is with networking and learning, and just by attending a literary festival you’ll start to feel like part of a community, part of something special – somewhere you (and all your crazy writing ideas) belong. How can that be a bad thing?

There are also a whole load of writers’ workshops and networking events that take place all over the country. These can often be a little pricey, but you’re bound to come away with a lot of knowledge and a whole heap of inspiration as well. Add to this all the courses and classes out there, and you’re surrounded with many, many options if you’re looking for some new writing knowledge.

Get A Mentor

Getting to know as many writers as you can will give you a lot of knowledge and a lot of people to ask for advice, but sometimes that can all get a little too much, especially if you’re trying to keep up with them all on various social media sites and if you’re constantly trying to read all their latest releases. One way to get around this is to find an author who’s been writing for some time, and preferably in the genre or area you want to write in (although this isn’t absolutely necessary). As long as they’re OK with it, of course, you can treat this writer as your kind of mentor, as authors generally like helping others to achieve what they’ve already achieved, and it’s often mutually beneficial if you both enjoy reading each other’s work. Getting advice from people who have been through it all can be much more useful that doing a simple web search, and you’ll probably find yourself learning much more than you thought you would.

So, what are you waiting for? Get socialising!

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You are the author of your own life. It's time to pick up the pen.