Kennedi Brown has written fiction under a pen name for years now. She plays the ukulele and writes songs no one will ever hear (hopefully).
Perhaps you have not heard of the social networking website Reddit. If you have not, well...I apologize. If you click that link you will never leave your house again.
If you have heard of Reddit, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. You're already in pretty deep, so you might as well read on and learn how you can possibly use the beast against itself and actually become a more productive writer.
You'll need it.
I'll get the most obvious one out of the way first. r/writing is exactly what it sounds like: a subreddit about writing. While there are many, many writing related subreddits, r/writing tends to be the largest and least specific. You'll find anything from story excerpts from amateur writers looking for critique to humorous/useful links posted there, making it a good place for inspiration as well as camaraderie. Users are always asking insightful, thought provoking questions about writing and the writing process that you may have found yourself asking at one time or another while staring at that blinking cursor.
Now, I know what you're thinking. r/books? But...books have already been writtEN! What I'm doing is called writING!
That true, but hear me out. If nothing else, r/books will at least provide some insight into the mind of a reader. That is who you're writing for, after all. Not to mention that all obsessive writers should also be obsessive readers because, well, the two go hand in hand. There really is no other place to look for lessons on how to be a great writer than by reading a great book. I'm always at least working my way through some work of fiction or another, without ever taking a "no reading break" or anything of the sort. Whenever I need help picking out what to read next, I head over to r/books and see what's sitting on everyone else's shelves.
r/books also provides some inspiration on living a "writer's life" just like r/writing. I found this picture over there the morning I wrote this hub and saved it to my hard drive to look at whenever I need help getting in the mood.
While I understand that most of the writers out there reading this are aiming for traditional publishing, this subreddit is mostly for those like me who are going the independent route. Here you'll find help and support with every aspect of the self publishing journey, from formatting an eBook to cover art to why you decided to write in the first place---to share stories. r/selfpublish always puts into perspective for me the reason why I haven't even looked into getting a literary agent or submitting to a traditional publisher. I'm not in it for the money. I'm in it to share the stories directly with my readers.
I also like to publish under a Creative Commons license, which traditional publishers aren't really that into, but that's beside the point.
Check out r/selfpublish for all your independent authoring needs!
No, this subreddit isn't writing central, but it is most certainly inspiration central. I don't know how much this can do for those of you who aren't science fiction or fantasy writers, but for those who are, you have just stumbled upon the mother-load of inspiring pictures/scenes. When I'm browsing r/imaginarylandscapes I wish there was some way to just save all of the pictures on one page immediately to my hard drive. There probably is, but I'm not good with technical stuff. When I was in elementary through middle school, I used to look at the geographical maps in the front of my science books (like this one) and make up epic fantasy stories that happened in the landscape depicted. This is sort of the same premise.
The purpose of r/wordcount is simple: motivation and inspiration. Once a day (or week) writers come by the subreddit to submit their word count for the day, no matter how big or small. They sometimes throw in the word count relative to the entire manuscript as a whole, like 700 words today out of 40,000 total so far. Only upvotes can be given, no downvotes. Congratulations and pep talks are in the comments.
Circlejerking is, from what I can tell, a reddit specific term that refers to when a group of people sort of make fun of themselves. Do not look it up on Google. It is, like I said, a reddit specific term. You will not find the definition you are looking for.
Warning aside, r/writingcirclejerk is a place for writers to make fun of the silly things that writers do sometimes. Like this post, for example:
I'm 268 pages into my novel and I've just finished describing the cool futuristic wood that makes up the bed that my protagonist wakes up in. I haven't really gotten to the protagonist himself, and I'm starting to wonder: is too much world building a bad thing?
If you're a writer or have experience writing, you can definitely laugh at that. It reminds me of the first novel I ever really decided I would sit down to write. I got about 25,000 words in before I shelved the project, and I hadn't even written past the exposition. Yes, you read that right.
This is a great subreddit for those who like to laugh at themselves (or others) and need a good, humorous break. Or wake up call.
Got some flash fiction you want to do something with? An idea that needs some padding or stretching? Something random that you just scribbled down for fun?
r/OneParagraph is the place to show it off. The idea behind this subreddit is simple, too. It can be very inspiring and also motivational. Get some feedback on that little paragraph you wrote that you had no other plans for. Learn how to reveal as much as possible in as little writing space as you can. In other words, grow as a writer.
r/shutupandwrite is my favorite. You won't find any excerpts here or posts complaining about how writing is oh-so-difficult. The name of the subreddit says it all: shut up and write. The point is that if you stop moaning and complaining or copying and pasting every five hundred words of your work into your browser window for someone to critique and KEEP WRITING UNTIL YOU'RE DONE...you'll finish something. You can edit the thing later. Just, for the love of all that is holy, finish it first.
There are wonderful links to comment threads in other areas of Reddit with topics and advice that is valuable to new writers as well, such as how to keep your character in character and how to finish something for once. All in all, a very valuable subreddit indeed.
John on September 26, 2018:
r/destructivereaders is one of the best resources on reddit. Get honest feedback, reliably. That's a hard thing to find in this world.
REdditor on August 11, 2016:
r/wiritngprompt is another really rad subreddit. Users submit prompts and ideas for others to write about and is one of the best ways to improve your writing
Bob on September 01, 2013:
The definition of circlejerk you find when googling is the same as the definition on reddit. It is not a group making fun of themselves, it is a group telling themselves how wonderful they all are. Circlejerk subreddits are a group of people who have recognized this behavior in another group and are calling attention to it through farce/parody, though these groups often become circlejerks in and of themselves.