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I’ve only been involved in the writing community online for a few months but one thing everyone talks about is the Absolute Write Forums where writers go to have conversation, get help and overall nurture their writing skills. I joined up a while ago but only posted a few times. I have seen many, many people post about AW (as it’s known) and I’m trying to figure out how to get more involved in that aspect of the community.

I guess in a way, I’m doing things backwards. Most people work on getting readers by being part of a message board and promoting their blog / site. They then work on spidering out through the community to gain support and make new friends. For me, I worked this backwards. I really want to get into the AW realm because ever since my falling out with the moron running my old writers group, I have had no interaction with anyone regarding writing. My searches on seem fruitless. I also think this contributes to my lack of writing drive.

One thing I’m not sure about for AW is my username. I used my old standard ID that I have been literally been using for over 15 years. I’ve been trying to move away from it to a newer screenname but I am unsure what people do on AW. Should I use an ID that is a variation of my name? Should I just use a handle that is obscure? I really want to know what you guys think. What is common on AW? I tried browsing it for a bit but couldn’t make a real assessment. Any help would be appreciated!


  1. I went all crazy and used my name. 🙂 Well, a variation of my name. If there’s a particular word or phrase that speaks to you, try that. You can change it once you’re a member (through a mod) but I would only do that once because it’s annoying for other members to remember your new ID.

    There’s a thread on AW called “Did you update your blog today” and I post there every time I update. That’s the easiest way to get readers, plus putting the link in your signature.

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the input Melanie! I’m thinking I’m going to use a screenname just to help seperate myself a little from my real name. If I change it, I will just re-register, since I only have a couple of posts and no one knows me….YET.

    That’s a great thread! I’m totally going to copy you on this and post there every day + do up my sig. Thanks again Melanie!

  3. It’s so weird to think we met on AW! One thing I’ve noticed with forums in general is that if you’re published, you may want to use a real name, but if not, use something that’s easy to remember or shorten. Nicknames work. My AW username is “Feathers.” It’s a little catchy, a little original, and it’s easy to quote. (A good avatar helps you stick in peoples heads, too.)

    Numbers, weird symbols, or hard-to-spell usernames like Bahamkatuji215 are a pain in the poop to remember or quote.

    As for breaking in….it was a little tricky at first. There are sooo many boards. Basically I just explored a little bit first and then started commenting on the Writing Novels board. Posting a bunch of threads right away sort of tags you as a newbie, so I’d suggested just commenting at first. Just read a bunch of stuff and give your opinion.

    Good luck getting ingrained 🙂

  4. LOVE me some AW. 😀 I’m like Melanie; I used my name, all creative-like. But I threw something extra at the end, and became jannawrites. Sometimes I wish I’d been a bit more original, like writerchick or something, but eh, what can you do?

    Something will come to you, be it based on your name or totally inspired by wit.

    But no stealing ‘writerchick’, got it, Aaron? 😉

  5. It is overwhelming at first. I didn’t go to any “social” threads until someone invited me (not that that’s required) and now I hang out in one that a bunch of us newbies created. 🙂

  6. You know, I’ve never been on AW. I think it’s cus I’m fairy addicted to a competing site (


    As to user names, I tend to shift mine every three years or so. Right now Tiamat’s all the rage. 😛 I have an account on another forum (that I dislike greatly so I won’t shamelessly plug it) and I foolishly used my real name for that. Eep!

  7. My user name on AW is WendyNYC. Super original, I know.

    I probably should have given that more thought.

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