Writing can be a lonely profession, as you often spend a lot of time in solitude researching and getting the words onto the page; however, it’s important to stay engaged with other writers, who can provide you with practical tips and encouragement, as well as new and interesting material with which to engage.
While you might have browsed Reddit groups or Twitter feeds about writing, these are often not technical enough; they might also be poorly maintained and filled with irrelevant information, which is why many writers turn to Usenet to find more unique and focused articles about their passion.
Getting involved with Usenet requires you to find a good Usenet provider, download a newsreader, and seek out an indexer that will help you find the proper pages of interest; however, once you have these fundamentals in place, you’re free to roam the vast, decentralized networks of Usenet newsgroups, where you’ll find interesting information you simply can’t access anywhere else.
Today, we’ll discuss some of the most vital Usenet newsgroups to explore if you’re a writer, whether that is hearing from other professionals or breaking into the competitive publishing industry.
Misc.writing: Headquarters for All Things Writing on Usenet
You can almost consider this the “main page” for the writing community on Usenet; here, you can find great advice on how to develop content, what makes good pacing in fiction, and how to cope with the common issues that beset writers, such as difficulties with freelancing and deadline stress.
Alt.writing: More Niche Topics for Writing
While Misc is the mainstream group for writing on Usenet, Alt.writing allows you to go deeper and get a more off-color lens on the actual nuts and bolts of writing. You can find answers to very specific questions, like how to write certain types of characters and suggestions on how to avoid familiar tropes that turn off readers. It’s a rowdier and smaller group whose conversations vary widely but whose users all share a love of the craft.
Rec.arts.books: Get Great Suggestions for Your Next Read
One of the most important things a writer can do for their career is read a wide variety of material. This means that if you’re a nonfiction, autobiographical writer, you should strive to read creative fiction, while if you’re a novelist, you should consider exploring works outside of your niche, such as reading fantasy if you’re a mystery writer. Reading for writers has many benefits, such as getting new story ideas, learning new and fascinating words, and identifying what makes a great book both plot-wise and at the sentence level.
In Rec.art.books, you can find excellent book reviews that explain exactly what’s good and bad about a particular book, which will give you an idea of whether you’ll find it worth a try or pass without cracking its spine open.
Rec.arts.books: Advice on the Publishing Industry
If you dream of publishing your own book, how-to guides can only get you so far: you want an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to actually publish a book, such as how to woo publishers and whether an agent is worthwhile. You’ll also hear from publishers about what they actually enjoy reading and what turns them off, in addition to more pragmatic matters like royalties and the drafting process.
Rec.arts.sf.composition: Learn More About Speculative Fiction
The novel has come a long way since its inception; it can be presented in a variety of ways, such as graphic novels like Station Eleven, or involved fantasy politics like the Bas-Lag Series by China Mieville. If you want to see how other authors reinvent the world on paper, Rec.arts.sf.composition tells you more about this unique genre of literature, including reviews, advice, and analyses of common themes in this style.
Rec.arts.prose: Get Feedback On Your Drafts
While there are many real-world writer’s workshop groups, it can be daunting to face down other people with your story in hand; this can turn off some people from getting the advice they need to excel in their craft. Short story writers will love Rec.arts.prose, as it allows you to post your fiction in a supportive and helpful environment, getting advice from those who love to write just as much as you do.
Even if you’re too shy to provide your own work, that’s okay: this is a goldmine of brand new material, never published before, that will spark your imagination through the bravery of others willing to bare their souls for the world to see.
Usenet Is an Excellent Place to Get Advice, Support, and Inspiration for Writers
Writing is a difficult and underappreciated profession; many people love to unwind with a book, but they may not realize the trials and tribulations of making their favorite materials. If you’re one of the unique creatives who help make the world a more interesting place, Usenet is a great resource to download articles that can help encourage and educate you, helping you become the best writer you can be.