Recently, I had the opportunity of attending a writer’s conference.
But this wasn’t any old conference–it was the YDubs conference.
If you’ve never heard of YDubs, you’re probably in the minority of my readers. YDubs is short for YWW, which is short for the Young Writer’s Workshop. When I’m talking to people about YDubs, I usually describe it as “Facebook for Christian young writers.”
Essentially, that’s what it is. There’s a massive community and an even larger content library full to bursting with expert opinions and writing advice you won’t find anywhere else. There are also lots of people who probably make the general population wonder what’s wrong with them–but it’s okay, they’re just writers, and brilliant ones at that.
Anyway, YDubs has been a part of my life for a little over two years now, and I have needed it so desperately for most of those two years. Let me tell you why young writers need like-minded community.
1. to encourage and support
Writers, regardless of age, need encouragement. Community can give this. On YDubs, we have a whole space for encouragement and motivation, and sometimes just going through a few posts in that space is a huge pick-me-up. If you have a couple of friends who really care about you and want to read what you write, they can cheer you on when you’re feeling down about your book.
2. to answer questions
This is where it helps for young writers to have older community. I’ve met lots of published authors, some who have very successful books, on the YDubs community. They’ve helped me grow in my craft by answering the (many) questions that I have.
And you don’t even need experienced writers to answer questions! Sometimes you just need someone’s opinion, and anybody can do that. Lots of YDubbers like to post polls on the Community for character names, worldbuilding, title ideas, and the like. One thing I like about polls on YDubs is the large sample size–there are almost 800 people on the Community, and while not everybody will respond, you’ll still get a decent number of responses.
3. to stretch you
I’m not talking literally here. No torture devices involved (yet). I’m talking in the mental and emotional sense.
Your comfort zone is only so big, but it can grow. The more you do things outside of your comfort zone, the more it’ll stretch and expand to fit the new things you’re doing. And I guarantee you that 90% of the factors that will help push you out of that relatively tiny circle is your community.
Starting this blog way back in October of 2020 was way out of my own comfort zone–and it was a direct result of YDubs and my new community. I realized that I needed a way to grow my platform, but I wasn’t sure how, and as soon as I asked about it a bunch of people told me to start a blog. I was skeptical and kind of scared at first, but I quickly learned the ins and outs of WordPress and blogging and decided to give it a go. So here I am now!
Community is absolutely vital to all writers, but especially young ones, because we’re still learning and growing. These are our formative years, and we need people around us to balance it out.
I realize that this entire post has basically just been an advertisement for YDubs, but if you’ve never heard of it and you’re a young writer needing to grow in a community, I can’t recommend it enough. You can check it out at theyoungwriter.com. I’ve met some of my best friends on there, and I’ve loved every second.
Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!