Tuesday Writing Tip – Why Join a Writer’s Group?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARecently I joined a new writer’s group and I am loving it.

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.

Happy writing:)

Dee

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Tuesday Writing Tip – Why Join a Writer’s Group?

  1. Shared this with my Writers’ group Dee. Summed up my exact reasons for being where I am and doing what I do. Thank you Dimity x

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience, Carol.

    I love hearing about vibrant, active writing groups like yours.

    It’s always interesting to hear how other writer’s groups work. The ones like yours where you have a format and a theme seem to work the best.

    Good luck with your 6th anthology.

    Happy writing:)

    Dee

  3. Hi Franco,

    This is certainly a tricky dilemma.

    I guess when coming to your decision you have to look at why you want to be in a writer’s group in the first place. Is it to make the right connections or is it because you want to have fun or is it a combination of the two?

    This ‘selection process’ is stressful and may seem a bit pointless, but I know that when you have an established writer’s group that’s working really well, it can be important to find the ‘right person’ – otherwise the fabric of the whole group can be destroyed. I have been in a writer’s group where a new member has completely taken over and antagonised other members and in the end, the group folded. In a writer’s group, balance and trust are so important so I’m guessing this is what the group is trying to work out with their selection process. Although to be honest, if you’re not involved in the critiquing, I’m not sure how much they can tell what sort of person or writer you are.

    It could well be that this group is worth persevering with – that if you are accepted into it, then you will find things relax a bit more.

    If it were me, I would be thinking, I really have nothing to lose by trying to join this group. The worst that can happen is that I don’t get accepted or I do get accepted but it’s not for me (in which case you leave). The best that can happen is that being part of this group is fulfilling and rewarding and leads to me getting published and make long time friends and contacts.

    I’m sure you have your own unique qualities and talents (which is why you have been invited to try out) so try not to be intimidated by the college professor.

    I hope this is helpful. I’ll be interested to hear how it all works out.

    Good luck:)

    Dee

Comments are closed.