People tend to think of writing as a solitary endeavor. After all, no one usually stands over your shoulder as you jot down notes for your next masterpiece. However, the truth is many writers and editors do benefit from working together. Collaboration, found in writing groups, provides ample opportunities for writers to learn and grow, especially across online platforms.

When writers embrace a collaborative spirit, they can expand their audience, fine-tune their writing skills, and gain insight from writers’ varied experiences and perspectives. Sometimes writers think they have to do it all by themselves. But, the truth is two heads are better than one. I thank my lucky stars for the connections I’ve made with writers and editors along the way.

When I first started publishing online, I felt like I was speaking in a room full of strangers. While I enjoyed the process of writing, I felt a bit of a disconnect. I went through the experience of “writing into the void.” All that changed once I started making meaningful connections with other writers on the platform.

Collaboration on Medium’s Writers and Editors of Color, a collective I co-founded, has helped me grow as a writer. Thankfully, I learned some valuable tricks of the trade. Every Sunday, we host the Writing for Change Speaker Series on Twitter Spaces, where my co-founder 

 and I interview a writer. Then, we take a deep dive into some exciting topics. One of our earliest conversations centered around imposter syndrome. Hearing writers share their experiences in overcoming their self-doubt helped me put my qualms into perspective.

Sometimes, our conversations focus on more structural elements of writing like creating a viral title, making a prewriting plan, and assessing our muses. At each meeting, writers can take some gems and leave some gems. Having an open dialogue about writing and editing each week with experienced writers has helped me grow. This gives me the opportunity of benefiting from their experiences instead of just my own. Collaborating with others provides an opportunity for you to synthesize what you know about writing while considering other people’s perspectives.

How do you approach collaboration in writing now? How do you approach helping other writers?

Collaboration in WEOC has led me to develop a different approach to my writing. When you share your writing in a collaborative space, you feel a sense of support you may not get from the general readership.

Getting to know other writers makes me think about the different ways they face writing challenges. Creatives face immense pressure to “be good.” However, collaborating with other writers helped me see my writing skills as a “work in progress” rather than a finite skill level. Writers can level up, time and time again if they’re open to it. Sometimes, it feels good to hear that other writers overcome the same types of challenges I’ve experienced. Collaboration has made me feel more confident in my ability to grow and develop.

To help other writers succeed throughout the Medium universe and beyond, as an editor, I focus on meeting them where they are and offering a wide breadth of services. Within our WEOC Slack workplace, we greet each other each morning. There is always someone available to discuss writing. We have channels that give writers the space to receive writing support, share writing opportunities we find, share our articles, and dive into topics we find interesting.

Writers can learn from one another, so my approach to helping other writers is creating a safe space for them to do that. I don’t have the answer to everything. But knowing that is a strength, not a weakness. By working with other writers, we can fill in the writing and editorial skills gaps we may be missing. I encourage writers to communicate with one another and to make the answers to common questions publicly available. We created WEOC Skills Labs, which we host biweekly on Google Meet and encourage writers to submit topics they want to learn more about. We’re always trying to encourage writers to work with one another.

Collaborative writing groups can feel like a family, offering support and even empathy. When I help other writers, I try to “critique with kindness,” like 

 often reminds me. However, my experience in writers’ groups showed me how writing critique could bolster your finished product. Supporting writers is exciting because you become invested in their success as well, not just your own. That sense of community is irreplaceable.

If I could give one piece of advice to writers on the Medium platform, it would be to make connections. Find writers whose writing you admire. Pay special attention to writers who write about the topics you like and have bylines at publications you enjoy reading. Ultimately, finding your writing tribe can be exciting as long as you feel ready to learn and grow alongside your peers.

Collaboration slays the loneliness that many writers experience. It also helps you develop much more quickly than you would alone. At WEOC, we recently initiated a peer-review process that we use for our special projects. One of my articles went from dull and chaotic to clear and shining, thanks to the thoughtful critique of my peers. I would recommend that writers use the “share draft” feature. Allow other writers to share their insight. You will be amazed at how much you can grow when you embrace collaboration.