Writing is a solitary activity. I enjoy doing things by myself. I think that’s one reason I enjoy writing. I can be in my own little world.
However, even writers need to talk with other people sometimes. We want input from others on what we are writing. We need encouragement and inspiration from other writers. That’s where being a member of a writers’ group comes into play.
A good writers’ group will be a place you can bring your writing and have it critiqued before it’s released to the public. They will see flaws you missed. They will catch spots where your language needs to be stronger, where passive needs to be active, where description is too much or not enough. The other members will also proof read for grammer and spelling issues.
Members of writers’ groups all have the same goal in mind – to produce the best written piece they can possibly write. No one is worse or better than anyone else. All are there to support each other.
I belong to the Word Weavers of West Michigan. Word Weavers is based in Florida and groups are springing up around the country. Check out their new website at www.Word-Weavers.com for a group near you or to find out how you can start a group in your area.
We meet twice a month in our small local group. As a group we read books on writing and review 2-3 chapters at our meetings. We inform the others what we are currently working on and about any milestones we may have made. The rest of the 2-hour meeting is spent critiquing each other’s work. Two or three people will bring in a short portion of what they’ve been working on and as a group we read it and offer comments and suggestions. This time can be scary, but it is also very worthwhile.
Once every other month we meet in a large group with the other Word Weaver groups of West Michigan. At these meetings we usually have a speaker – an author, publisher, editor, agent – who can give us insights into the writing/publishing world. During this time we also celebrate accomplishments our fellow writers have made over the last couple months, such as finishing a project or getting a book/article published. We offer support and encouragement to each other. Seeing others reach their goals is inspirational for us who are still working to get there.
I can not encourage you enough about getting involved in a writers’ group which meets regularly. Not only are the benefits there which I already talked about, but if you have been procrastinating with your writing, the meetings give you the boost you need to get back to it. You don’t want to be the member who, meeting after meeting, has nothing to say about what you’ve been working on.
Do a google search for writers’ groups in your area. That’s how I found Word Weavers originally. If you are serious about writing you need to be serious about joining a writers’ group.
If you already belong to a group, share with the rest of us how your group is run and what you are getting from being a member.