A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: A Community of Writers 7

This week’s journaling prompts are about community — specifically how we do or do not create community and support for our journaling and writing lives.

This topic is on my mind because Sunday afternoon I attended a meeting of my writing club. Each month the club’s program director brings in authors and/or members of the publishing world to inspire us to believe in ourselves and to persevere, whatever dire predictions have come our way, to continue to write, submit our writing (if that’s our desire), and — no matter what — continue to learn and grow. Even when I learn nothing particularly new, I always go away feeling intellectually stimulated and connected to other writers.

Writing can be a lonely, isolating thing, especially now that things are shifting towards more and more online time. Even writing teachers and editors like myself do most of our work online. The question is, how do we perceive our writing life and community and is it sufficient?

Here are seven new journaling prompts to help you think more about this topic:

  1. In general, would you describe yourself as a person who networks and builds a “support community,” however you want to define the term, social or otherwise? In what ways yes and in what ways no? How important is it to you to have a  support community?
  2. As a journal-keeper/life-writer, do you think of yourself yourself as isolated, engaged with other like-minded writers, or somewhere in between? Freewrite for ten minutes about where you see yourself on this spectrum and why.
  3. Are you satisfied with your current writing community? Why or why not?
  4. If you have a writing community to which you belong — a critique group, writer’s club, writing circle — write about your role in this (or these) group(s). Are you actively or passively engaged? Describe what you mean by your answer. If you don’t have a writing community, write about the reasons and/or obstacles to having one.
  5. How much time each day, on average, do you spend involved in online networking and how much time in real-time (person-to-person) networking? Do you feel satisfied with your investment of time, and what kinds of relationships, if any, have you developed each way?
  6. Describe your ideal writing community. What would it look like, how much time would you spend interacting with other writers, and what kinds of interactions would you have? What do you bring to the community?
  7. Regarding your current writing community, however small or large it is, make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for. Then, make a list of 5 things you can do to strengthen or enlarge your support community. And if you’re already happy with the community that you’ve developed, make a list of 5 more things you can contribute to your community.

Finally, I would love to hear from you about how you’ve built a support community for your writing — whether it’s a simple get-together with a writing buddy, a formal writing club, or something else. What works for you?


Image Credit: Milivoj Sherrington
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7 thoughts on “A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: A Community of Writers

  • Carol

    Great prompts, Amber. Just asking the questions gives me much to think on, and write on, so that I can figure out where I stand.
    Enjoying long quiet days right now, and wishing for an ”in person” writing group. Will be hunting for one now that we have settled down. ;D for a bit…. ;;D

    • Amber Lea Starfire

      Carol, I’m glad the questions help — figuring out where we stand in relationship to our self-defined “ideal,” and where it really is on our list of priorities is important, I think. And not just on this topic. Let me know when you’ve found your writing group.

  • Karen

    Thanks! The prompts give me reasons to dig deeper than the daily grind. I need to look at all my communities. I’m not sure I am ready for an “in person” writing group, but it sure sounds good.

    • Amber Lea Starfire

      Hi Karen, you can use these questions to target any kind of support community (or just a general support). I’ve had to make creating community a conscious effort, since it tends not to come naturally to me. Whereas other people I know build community as easily as breathing (or so it seems to me). If you’re not ready for an in-person writing group, try an online critique group. Writing Through Life’s new forum provides the space for such groups to begin and grow. But there are others out there. Hmmm… maybe I’ll write a blog post about online critique groups. Thanks for the idea :-).

  • Linda Sievers

    Amber, you hit the questions/thoughts right on target for me. Having just made a major move almost a year ago from CA. to UT., and just barely beginning to meet people, let alone find a writing group, I am starving for community of friends and writers or variations of both. I find also, that I have wearied of online writing classes, not that they are not valuable, but I like sitting in the same room with people sharing the work. Much is said through voice intonations and expressions that can’t be picked up online. You can’t hear laughter online.

    However, your online Forum is looking good to me until I can find some writers who want to share. There are writers here, lots of them who publish. Not sure I’m there yet, so until….I’ll be working on these prompts for sure.