When I first started to post my work online, one of the most exciting things about it was that I got to meet other writers.
Writing is a solitary business and the work is very personal; not only is it logistically hard to "come out" -- it's dangerous, too. But nobody quite understands what that flash of inspiration is like when your plot suddenly melts together, unless they're a fellow writer. They can't sympathise when one of your characters won't co-operate, and there's that magic moment at 2am when you crack him like a chocolate orange...
I'd go as far as saying that I read more unpublished stuff than published these days. My inbox is full of musings from fellow writers -- and I love it. We sit, flexing our fingers and throwing back the caffeinated beverages until our critique partner's response to that new story arrives. We bounce in our seats with excitement because an idea is just that good. And we slap our foreheads, palm our faces and cringe the cringiest of cringes when realise that yeah...the thing with the politicians in the leotards is possibly not going to work, and it's back to the whoring board to flirt with some words.
Anybody can offer you their opinion on your writing, but it means so much more coming from a writer whose work you admire. As much as I want the approval from agents and editors, there's something all pure and sparkly about a cool writer who loves your work not because they can sell it; not because it sounds like XXX, so it must be good; not because you use lots of big and clever words. The writer likes it...just because. It speaks to them on that special level that only writers (and bats) can hear.
Which brings me to this: a writer called Rachel Harrie has started what she calls a Crusade. In short, it's a big, messy platform free-for-all for writers of all shapes and squidges, designed to get us all talking to each other and put our names out there (you know, there. The scary place. Don't panic! I hear there's cake). Anybody with a blog can join (Twitter's good too) and you can find out all about it here.
Let's talk to each other. It's awesome.