As a "weekend" writer with a day job, keeping the inspirational fires stoked enough to just get the story out on the page can seem to take all the extra time there is. Trying to also put together an intentional plan for furthering the craft of my writing? That can seem like a task better left for another day. That's where finding a good writing community to push you forward and encourage you can become especially important. (Thank you, Arlee Bird, of Tossing It Out for putting together this writing community A-Z challenge and giving us the space for encouraging each other on our writing journeys! And thank you, Sylvia, of Sylvia Writes for letting me know about it.)
I've been lucky enough to find several of these communities, especially online. The one I'm going to mention today is DIYMFA.com. Gabriela Periera first began to work on this website when she was finishing her own MFA program, as a way to keep learning in her writing after she left school and as a way to offer something to those of us for whom a grad program in writing is just not an option. She has a wide range of articles and guest posts and a great (free!) writing workbook that makes that "intentional planning" a whole lot less overwhelming. In it she walks you through some simple exercises to begin putting those big picture pieces together of where you want to go with your writing in the next few years and what you need to do to get there.
Already planning to block off some serious time this weekend on a particular writing project, but wishing you didn't have to go it alone? Now's a good time to jump in and test out her site. She has a major Weekend Sprint planned for this Saturday and Sunday- complete with videos and inspirational prodding. http://diymfa.com/community/second-diy-mfa-weekend-writing-sprint
Are there other websites or online "programs" that you have found particularly helpful in pushing you forward in your writing? I'd love to hear about them.