In the last blogpost I mentioned a writers’ group. What is a writers’ group and why bother?
We are created to work in community. While the life of a hermit may sound inviting, such an existence isn’t good for the soul. All good writing comes of a community effort, whether it’s early in the project when a reader is engaged to help shape an idea, or later, when an editor gets involved to finalize it. Writing isn’t solitary. As a writer, you must spend time alone crafting sentences and redrafting the text, but in order to grow in your craft you must have relationships outside your immediate family and friends that are designed to specifically support your creative work.
A good writers’ group (I actually prefer the term writers’ workshop) is made up of 6-8 committed writers. Not people who are interested in writing. Not a book club. People who write as a habit and have demonstrated results. The group is led by someone with some credibility either via publishing credits, formal education, or both. They know the craft. This person also knows how to lead a group. They’re organized and attentive to the individuals as well as the group as a whole.
Once you find a group that seems like a good fit, get involved. Attend and participate. Seek the group’s guidance and mentoring. Submit your writing and obtain feedback. Provide your thoughts on their work. You will soon find that between your readers’ and your writers’ groups you will have set up around yourself a creative trust and your work will benefit greatly.
A final thought—-don’t start a writers’ group. Join one. Your goal isn’t to start and run a successful writers’ group. That’s a skill you can develop later. For now you need to write.