What types of interactions leave you feeling most energized and connected? Do you find it satisfying to reach out to as many people as possible? Or do you find the most meaning in going deeper with a few? Do large groups make you excited or exhausted?
The online writing community is vast—really it’s many overlapping communities. I want to be a part of that community and have started taking steps to engage with others. I’m slowly making connections, but the community is just so big. Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming to try to find my own place within it.
I appreciate that the writing community is welcoming and makes space for everyone. But that very openness can also make it hard for me to feel deeply connected.
Last week I mentioned some simple ways to reach out to another person online—commenting on a blog post, sending an email, sharing an interesting article, etc. These can all be a great way to start making connections.
Sometimes, however, there comes a point when you want to invite another person to join you in something deeper, whether that’s working on a project together, forming a mastermind group, or actually meeting up for a cup of coffee.
Personally, I often find large group participation draining and I feel most connected and energized interacting with people one-on-one or in small groups. This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t engage with larger communities. It’s not an either/or situation. But when I’m aware of my own interaction preferences I’m more able to make sure my need for connection is met in a satisfying way.
I’m realizing that finding my place in the larger writing community isn’t just about making contact with as many people as I can or trying to be as visible as possible. While I do want to keep connecting with more people and getting more comfortable with letting my true self be seen, I also need to focus on cultivating a few closer relationships.
Writing can be a very lonely endeavor. Some days it’s hard to sit down at my computer and remember why I’m even writing in the first place. While the act of writing can be very solitary, growing as a writer isn’t something I have to do alone.
I want to learn from others’ ideas and experiences. I want my own hard-won lessons to help smooth the road for someone else. I want to dig into the reasons why I write and who I want to become as a writer with people who don’t just care, but understand.
I want to be part of a small group of writers, not as a replacement for the broader writing community, but as my place of deepest connection within the community. For awhile I waited, hoping some other writers would see me and invite me to join them, but that didn’t happen.
So it was time for me to do the inviting. Right now my writing group is still very small, only three people. We’re still figuring out the practical aspects of being in a group together and what we want this group to be. Already I feel less alone in my writing, knowing that I have friends who are also figuring out what it means to be a writer and a blogger. I love having people to go to with my questions and with interesting ideas I’d like to discuss.
I’ll readily admit, asking people to join me wasn’t easy. In fact, it was terrifying. But so worth it. Next time I’ll be sharing some ideas about asking that I’ve found helpful.
In the meantime…Are you aware of your own preferences for interacting with others? Which types of groups leave you energized and which leave you drained? Also, who would you like to ask to join you in deeper connection?