Writing

Feedback, and finding harmony through Discord.

I think I’m going to start putting at least one random thing into each of my blog posts. In this case, I’ll use something I found while searching for a public domain image of a meeting.

sheep-1684851__340.jpg

I hope you enjoyed that. In either case, on with the post!

I go along to a few writing groups in my city. They’re good chances to meet likeminded people, and talk about the creative writing process. Sometimes, we also share our writing, and give and receive feedback. Which brings me to this post’s title. Did you notice I capitalised the D in Discord? That’s because I’m actually referring to some neat software.

I don’t go to writing meetups nearly as often as I’d like. This is because I’m often working when they happen. Being a musician means that I work unusual hours, and that my working week can change at short notice. Also, some other writers work in my city, but they live further afield, meaning it’s rare for all of us to be in the same time at the same place. This is where Discord comes in. It’s a free voice and text app, primarily designed for online gaming. However, a friend at a group that formed around NaNoWriMo suggested using it to do an online critique session.

We’d been discussing meeting to give and receive feedback on our writing, but we were struggling to nail down a mutually convenient time. Nothing quite seemed to work for everyone. A lot of this was down to travel time. It’s no good being free for 2 hours if it takes almost an hour each way to get to and from a meeting. Then, someone suggested doing the critiquing online. We decided to give it a go. Without factoring in travel time, it was much easier to arrange a date that worked. We downloaded Discord, exchanged writing beforehand, and then we tried it out.

I’ve got to say, I was surprised how well it worked. Discord was simple to use, and most importantly, the connection remained stable for the whole 2 hours we discussed writing. As well as catering for microphones, there’s a text function, so you can type to other ‘attendees’ if you’d rather not use a mic. I know there’s other software like Skype that does the same sort of thing, but last time I checked, you had to pay if you wanted to do conference calls. There’s no such constraint with Discord. I was really impressed, especially considering the software’s free.

So next time you’re arranging a critique session and struggling with time constraints, it might be worth considering moving the feedback online.

Thanks for reading, and I hope the writing’s going well!

Featured image and random sheep image used courtesy of pixabay.

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