This group is an eclectic mix of ages, levels of experience and genre. And it’s one of the things that makes it work so well.
Only one other person writes YA like me. There are poets, adult novelists, screen writers, non-fiction writers and writers prepared to tackle pretty much anything.
It’s a local writer’s group and it’s so inspiring to listen to all the other writing being done and to think of all the keyboards buzzing and creative juices flowing around me.
Writing is a solitary profession where you spend so much time at your keyboard and in your headspace, so it’s important for me to know that I’m not alone in this.
I’ve only been going to this group for a couple of months but already I can see the benefits:
1. I’m becoming committed to my writing again because even if I don’t have publishing deadlines, there’s the deadline of reporting on my writing activities for the month and there’s also an expectation that you bring 200 words to be workshopped. So this makes me think about what I need help with.
2. My eyes are being opened to other genre and styles.
3. I’m being encouraged to look at my writing in a new way because many of the group are not familiar with my genre.
4. I’m being introduced to new books and genre, which is sparking new ideas for stories outside my comfort zone.
5. I’m learning new techniques from hearing how other authors work to build their story worlds and plots.
6. I’m finding out about new competitions, grants and opportunities to be published.
7. I’m getting to know a new group of people and have exposure to a new range of talents.
I’ve been in writer’s groups before that haven’t worked this well – and I think the main difference with this one is that the members of the group actually write – not everyone – not every month – but there are always enough people in the group who have written so we can have lively discussions and something to inspire us.
Are you in a writer’s group? If so, feel free to share your tips and experiences on what makes your writer’s group work. Perhaps you have questions about starting a writer’s group. Feel free to ask them in the comments section of this post.