Every aspiring writer knows that organization is incredibly important in the writing and editing process. After all, there is nothing more frustrating than sitting down to write a scene or edit a story and realizing that all your work is scattered among random, untitled word documents. I must admit, I have strayed from the path of organization too many times to count, and I often have to sift through what feels like a sea of digital papers until I find that one scene I began writing the previous night.
In an effort to keep myself engaged and organized, I like trying new software and programs to see which ones strike my fancy. While not originally designed for writers (in fact, its founders created it to streamline communication amongst gamers), Discord has become a veritable haven for all kinds of people, including writers. With the ability to join and create public and private servers, anyone can use Discord to find their niche.
There are numerous ways to use Discord as a writer. Writing communities offer a sense of camaraderie and accountability amongst writers, and there are hundreds of public servers to choose from. Whether you’re looking to join your local NaNoWriMo group or just looking for a place to talk about your latest story idea, Discord has it. Joining a writing server can help you get feedback on your writing as well as hone your proofreading and editing skills by beta reading and critiquing others’ work. Voice and video channels also provide a space for virtual write-ins and other activities.
Writing is not a solitary activity; it’s important to get outside eyes on your work, and joining a Discord server automatically provides a writer with multiple ways to receive feedback. I get it—it’s stressful to let others read your work, let alone critique it. Joining a writing community can also help build a writer’s courage; after all, if you aren’t brave enough to expose yourself to constructive criticism from peers, it will be that much harder to submit your work for publication. Not quite ready to drop into a group of strangers? You can also create a private server for your writing group, your friends, or even yourself.
According to Jordan Saycell, Discord is fantastic for organizing because of its ability to house different categories and channels. On my personal server, I keep categories for different story ideas and poetry and then organize my channels by characters, scene ideas, etc. I can keep track of all my random ideas and then come back and edit them later. Of course, it is also important to store any full scenes or stories in a program such as Google Docs because Discord does have a character limit on its messages and can glitch. Creating a channel for Google Docs links is another good way to keep everything in one place while also ensuring that your hard work is secure.
Have I mentioned bots? Discord bots add another level of productivity and fun to your server, and you can easily add them with a quick invite. A few bots I recommend are Talos, a bot that comes with customizable features for messages and prompts and an option to interface with the NaNoWriMo site; Sprinto, which runs writing sprints on command and gives server members a way to compete with each other while upping their word counts; and Writer-Bot, an all-encompassing bot that provides prompts, sprints, name generators, and more.
No matter your interests, writing skill, or goal, there is a Discord server for you. So go forth and join some servers! Find your niche, organize your writing, and get your work seen. Don’t forget to make some new friends along the way.