“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” — Thomas Mann

“Ain’t dat da truth!” — Charlie Hills

So I’ve been at this writing thing a while and for the vast majority of that time, it’s been all on my own. I’ve had various individuals proof-read, beta-read, and help edit manuscripts before publication, of course, but that’s all been on a temporary, as-needed basis.

Back in 2009, I mentioned that it’d be nice to have a writing buddy. The idea would be to pair up with someone equally interested in the craft as oneself, and then waste time talking about writing, but never actually executing any writing. No, just kidding. There’d also be beer.

But finding a writing buddy is difficult, especially when one doesn’t even really try, as was the case with me. I kinda sorta figured maybe it might just naturally come up in the course of nature. But I never actually put any effort into it. Much like the lottery: you can’t win if you don’t play.

Then last June, Jason said to me, “Hey, check out this web site.” So I did. And “this web site” turned out to be Scribophile. I signed up immediately, casually looked around the place, and thought, “I think I’ll write a blog post about this on March 10, 2017.”

Actually, I did nothing on the site for three months. Not until it was NaNoWriMo time again. Suddenly, Scribophile felt more relevant than ever.

So what is it?

In short: Scribophile is a “private” online writing community. The primary goal is to critique and be critiqued by your writing peers. I say “private” simply because you have to sign up. That is, the general public can’t hit the site and simply browse anyone’s work. But joining is also free, so it’s not like some exclusive, invitation-only club.

The beauty of Scribophile lies in its Karma system. Karma is the site’s currency. You earn it by critiquing other members’ works. You spend it by posting your own work. It’s a brilliantly simple system designed to maintain balance, lest it turn into a “everybody just read my stuff but I can’t be bothered with your drivel” free for all.

The worst part best part of Scribophile is the forums. Nothing revolutionary here: just the typical “bulletin board” where members can ask questions, share information, and basically have the life sucked out of them (particularly those actually trying to be productive). But in a good way.

I currently have a handful of other writers reading, analyzing, and fixing my writing. It’s funny how common it is to upload something and say, “Wow! This is perfect!” only to have it ripped to shreds by your peers. But in a good way.

So if you’re a writer reading this, be sure to check it out. If you’re not a writer, then I apologize for this post. Here are some puppies to make up for it:

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