Don't Be a Platypus

Here’s my writing advice—don’t be a platypus.

Listen, I’ve got nothing against Perry the Platypus. I think he’s pretty rad, honestly. I mean, have you seen platypuses? They look like something out of a sci-fi novel where Dr. Knows-it-all played around with DNA and accidentally created an otter-duck-beaver hybrid. But platypuses are solitary animals, and as writers, we need community.

Here are a few ways to stop being a platypus and start being a wolf in the writer-wolf pack:

1. Engage on Twitter.

I resisted joining Twitter for years. But discovering the #WritingCommunity on Twitter transformed and re-energized my writing. Follow literary journals, publishers, agents, and fellow writers. Follow the authors that you admire. Listen, learn, share, and make friendships.

2. Join or start a writer’s group.

A critique group, in which you give and get feedback, will improve your writing, teach you to read critically and help you to develop invaluable writing friendships.

3. Check out workshops and conferences.

Workshops, writing classes, and conferences are great ways to connect with other writers and hone your skills. If you’re low on cash, keep an eye out on Twitter for free workshops and conference scholarships.

4. Attend or participate in readings, book launches, or open mic events.

Search for local events at bookshops and libraries or attend virtual events. Cheer on your fellow writers!

5. Buy books and write reviews.

Support other writers with your money and your words. If you read something that you love, share it, shout it, spread the love. Write rave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, maybe even submit a review to a journal.

Are you feeling the big, badass wolf-writer vibes now? Welcome to the pack.