Finding Contacts, Confidence and Cash in an Online Writing Group By Aimee Cirucci

When I first caught the writing bug in the Spring of 2006 I had no idea where to begin. Slow days at work were filled googling “writing tips” and “freelance writing” for information and inspiration. All this Internet research lead me to a variety of websites, often with conflicting advice: write what you know vs. write what you like to read; writers must be readers vs. writers must be writers. I was confused, to say the least. But as the vast, intricately linked world of the Internet would have it, just when I decided I was wasting my time, I stumbled upon a Yahoo group for writers that would change everything.

I joined the group, not really knowing what to expect. I was still very much a reader, dipping a tentative toe into the writing waters. Within a couple of hours my e-mail box was filled with messages from writers debating the importance of long standing writing rules, telling stories of their first sales, and sharing industry news. The information was valuable and the group was chock full of experts and published writers I had long followed. I learned the unique list language