Direct me to a disciplinarian, please
February 12, 2012 2:16 PM   Subscribe

What is the best online venue to advertise for other writers who want to engage in mutual criticism / editing /support?

I am an aspiring writer with some ideas and talent and little to no self-discipline. I've realized that, when put in a situation where I'm responsible to someone or something outside of myself, I get things done, but when left to my own devices, I do many crossword puzzles and take too many long hot showers.

I am seeking similarly ambitious but undisciplined writers to engage in mutual coercion. In other words, someone with whom I can exchange advice, criticism, editing and ideas. I'm not interested in a self-help situation in which we tell each other how brilliant we are. I want to find a smart, well-read, tough, unforgiving critic who will tell me when my writing sucks and how to improve it, and I will do the same for him/her. We can also, most importantly, act as an external source of discipline, setting deadlines, goals, etc.

I am interested in completing a novel. I have no (or few) illusions about my chances of getting published / selling / becoming a superstar. I just don't want to become old and realize that I never even tried.

I'm sure there are places online where I can find people who are interested in this but I don't know where to find them. Can you help? If anybody on Metafilter is interested in pursuing this themselves, feel free to contact me. Thanks!
posted by crazylegs to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I've used Critique Circle to good effect - I think it works best for shorter pieces, but people certainly post novels a chapter at a time. Probably the most useful part of it, for me, has been in critiquing other people's works - actually having to verbalize what a particular paragraph was doing and why it may not be what the author intended is consistently pretty enlightening for me.

It doesn't have the deadline aspect to it, but it's definitely a place where you can meet people who are similarly interested in writing.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:28 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

People often make online writers' groups and feedback circles with other posters on (There's also a "Share Your Work" forum, which is password-protected so your work isn't Googleable or visible to non-members, where you can get feedback from the membership at large.)

If you're writing in fantasy, SF, or horror, many people swear by

People I know have also created or joined in-person writers' groups via

Good luck!
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:34 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

I found my awesome in-person writing group via their ad in the local independent newspaper. Also, I haven't used it myself, but I've heard good things about Litopia.
posted by unsub at 10:02 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

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