Birds of a feather, flock together. In other words, we stay close to those that are most like us. And if you’re a writer, it would be helpful, and fun, to hang out with other writers. Here are some great reasons why you should join a writing group!
A Regular Dose of Motivation
Once you start attending regular meetings you’ll find yourself becoming more motivated. You’ll want to share your manuscripts, chapters or short stories for feedback from your peers. It will serve as a deadline to have something to share with your new group on a regular basis.
Sometimes it’s difficult to find inspiration within the four walls of your office or house. Perhaps you haven’t figured out what kind of story you want to write yet. By joining a group you’ll have the opportunity to hear other stories, which may spark an idea for your next story. Or you may be exposed to a new genre that intrigues you. If you’re looking for a specific suggestion you can engage in a brainstorming session with your group, too.
From The Mouths of Writers
While it’s nice to get feedback from friends and family, it’s usually more helpful to get it from your writing colleagues. Most writing groups critique each other’s manuscripts by offering objective, and sometimes subjective, constructive criticism. The feedback may be what you needed to hear to better your story and improve your writing skills.
The Latest and Greatest
Another advantage of joining a writing group is learning about upcoming literary festivals, new paying markets and competitions. You can also share a writing magazine subscription and snips of information regarding the latest in writing from blogs and websites.
Where Do I Join?
Get on your computer and search for writing groups in your area. If you live near a large city it should be easy to find a group. Or ask at your local library or adult education center. The Writer magazine has a section on their website where you can find a writing group in your area or check out www.meetup.com. There are also online writing groups if you live in the country and don’t want to drive too far. If there isn’t any group in your area, start your own group. All you need is two or three like-minded writers for an effective group. To find new members run an ad in the classifieds or www.Craigslist.org, or post a flyer at the local library.
So what are you waiting for? Join or start a group. Get inspired, motivated and helpful feedback from new like-minded friends.
Laura Kuschel is a freelance writer who lives in Racine, WI with her husband, Brad and crazy cat, Lily. She’s also pursuing her bachelor’s degree in English/Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has two blogs focusing on grieving and being a stepmother http://memoirofayoungwidow.blogspot.com/ and http://thisstepmother.blogspot.com/.