I have no need of friendship,
Friendship causes pain.
Its laughter and its loving I disdain.
I am a rock, I am an island.
–Simon and Garfunkel
I’ve written about the importance of community here on the site before, and I’ve especially seen it to be true over the past couple of weeks. I’ve been working on a couple of different writing projects for the site, and I can easily say that it’s the support and critiques from a number of trusted individuals that will actually get these projects to the finish line.
It’s very humbling to be a part of a good community. People give their time generously without fear of being ignored, since they will have their time to receive compliments and critiques, as well.
Okay, enough gushing. The question is, where can you find community if you haven’t already?
I have a few quick suggestions for you, and I’d love to hear of other communities you may be aware of.
Communities for Writers
You can find writing groups online and off (heck, my local library has a writing group), but I had a great experience with the Critters Workshop. In the past, their focus was on science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but they’ve expanded into other genres as well.
When you join, you have the opportunity to submit your story, but you’ll be expected to turn in a few critiques of others’ works before you’re able to receive any critiques.
When I was an active part of this community, I probably received 15 to 20 critiques for each short story I turned in.
Communities for Filmmakers
Trigger Street Labs works with screenwriters, filmmakers, comic book writers and novelists, but they’re probably most well-known for the film side of things. Like Critters, Trigger Street has been around for a long time in Internet years, and they’ve been a solid community throughout.
Communities for Musicians
Open mic night at the local bar has always been a great way to test out new materials, but there are ways to go online for this, as well. I don’t have experience with these, but MacJams and iCompositions both seem to serve the same need for musicians as Critters and Trigger Street do for their communities.
Communities for Artists (Specifically, Comic Book Artists)
As a total comic book geek, I’ve been on the hunt to recruit comic book artists for creative projects several times in the past. One of the most engaging communities that I’ve seen is the PencilJack forums. Artists can show works in progress, and other artists and comic book fans can give critiques to help the work improve.
Also, there’s a board for finding artists who are looking for new projects, so that’s always fun, too.
I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface here of online communities that can provide helpful feedback.
You can always post artistic projects to social media and video sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube, though your critiques will not be as in-depth as what you’ll find at the above communities. Still, you can get a general sentiment from people as to whether or not they’re into it.
What other communities are you aware of? Do you have a community that you regularly participate in now? Share your comments below.
Photo by delarge.