Before you all maul me with fierce whips of words, let me explain what this post is about. Last year as part of my final research project f...

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Before you all maul me with fierce whips of words, let me explain what this post is about. Last year as part of my final research project for a class called Society and Culture, I spent several months looking into the writing community, specifically online communities, and what they mean for writers. I can't share the whole report for copyright reasons, but I am going to share some key findings with you all. Statistics nerds, this one's for you.

The question I asked for my report was: How do writers find belonging and acceptance in their society? I looked at broad society, family and friends, and finally online communities. I partook in various research methods like interviews, content analysis, and a questionnaire, but since this is far from a 10,000 word paper, here are the fun stats!


Of 148 writers who took the questionnaire...

81.1% described their family of being supportive of their writing, while 4.7% said they were not. The other answers ranged between "somewhat supportive" and "only some of them are".

66.2% stated that they felt their society (their surroundings, communities, or country in general) was supportive of their writing passion.

When asked what online writing communities writers were a part of, the top three were those on Facebook (85%), Twitter (53.7%), and blogging sites (47.6%).

98% described their experience with online writing communities an overall positive one. (Yay!)

74.3% of writers have made friends with another writer they've met online.

When asked if they were a part of any offline writing community, 56.8% said "none". The second highest response was meet-ups with other writers at 16.2%, then critique groups at 13.5%.

For writers who were part of both an online and an offline writing community, 37.8% said both communities were equally important to them, while 54.9% said that the online community was far more important.


When asked "How has being part of an offline/online writing community influenced you as a person?" here are some of the many responses...


"It's definitely made me feel less alone and more confident as a writer."

"I am only involved in online writing communities and I have met so many AMAZING people. They have become friends and "sisters" in the craft. I appreciate their support immensely!"

"It keeps me writing"

"I don't think it has?"

"Motivates me, broadens my horizons, and keeps me going. Trains me, makes me into the author I am"

"I have found that a) I'm not alone, b) there are other writers who are experts in areas I struggle with and are willing to help me improve, and c) I now get the opportunity to help others in the area I'm best at. My craft has improved drastically since I joined the online community."


"The online community has been so uplifting. They have come around me when I am discouraged, prayed for me, made me laugh, made me cry from their love. It was my online writer friend that was there for me during my bouts of depression and loneliness."

"I use it mainly for learning opportunities and to drag people along when I get a crazy idea because I get a lot of crazy ideas and sometimes I need minions... er ... friends to help me with them. "

"Unsure. I do feel en element of encouragement from the online communities and they are a source of guidance ."

"I don't have any writing friends IRL. It is nice to have a place where I can talk about my frustrations or ask a question and get a response from someone with the same passion."


And these are just a snapshot of all the responses I'd gotten! While a few didn't gush about the experiences of the online writing community, from my research I saw that by far, the majority of writers in online communities not only improve their craft through joining, but also make strong friendships and connections that encourage, motivate, and beat back loneliness.

So is the writing community really that great? I'd say yes. And I'll let one of the questionnaire participants close:

"The online writing community over at Facebook has truly impacted my life for good. If I hadn’t made the friends I have and learned what I’ve learned ... I shudder to think of where I’d be today. "


Do your experiences mirror the results here? What are your thoughts on the online writing community? Is there anything you'd like me to clarify?
Thanks for being a part of this community. <3


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12 comments:

  1. Ohh fun post! The writing/blogging online community has been vita to my existence as a growing writer. Loved seeing the stats though!

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    1. Thanks Kara, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Same here, it's been an amazing experience to be part of it. :D

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  2. Writing community power WHOOT!! Love all these comments and this post! Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. Whoot whoot!! Three cheers for the writing community! xD Yay, so glad you enjoyed, thanks Hannah! <3

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  3. Cool stats! I love being part of such a supportive and loving community of like-minded writers. <3

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    1. Thank you! Me too, it's a wonderful community, and I'm so glad it's special to you too. <3

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  4. Love seeing different stats. I think it's really cool to connect with other writers.

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    1. Glad you liked them! :D Yes, it really is! It definitely is beneficial for growing both in craft and as a person.

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  5. The online writing community has definitely helped me! I have learned so much, found so much motivation, and been inspired by the creativity of the other people I've met. And like one person in your post said, I don't have any real life writing friends; my siblings write, but other than that the only writers I know are online, and it's so great having a community of people I can relate to.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing :D

    theonesthatreallymatter.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so glad to hear you've found being a part of the writing community a great experience! <3 I'm the same, for a very long time I didn't know any other writers in the offline world, so it was wonderful to be able to connect to the online community.

      Thank you! And thank you for commenting and sharing. <3

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  6. I love stats. These are really interesting results. My first writing community was actually in person as a teenager when I attended my first writers conference. I actually didn’t get into an online community until I was nineteen. But being involved in the writing community has definitely changed my life. I’ve met some of my closest friends in it and they’ve encouraged me in my journey. I love the comment about how writers help each other with what they’re good at. That’s so true. I love how we can balance each other out and strengthen each other’s weak points.

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    1. I love them too! :D That's really interesting, I'm glad you were able to connect with writers offline too, that must have been a really special experience! Yes, it's a great comment and so true! The writing community is great at sharing encouragement and resources to help us all along our journeys. <3 Thanks for sharing!

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