Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Why You Should Join a Writing Group, Part 1

Last winter I was made co-organizer of a group on Meetup.com called Southcoast Part-time Authors.  It's a great group of people who love to write and are pursuing the ever elusive successful writing career.  I've met some great new people and it's helped me get my butt in the seat and accomplish something useful.  There are plenty of reasons why every writer should join a writing group, and here are some of mine.

1. The Group Write

The first of my reasons is the Group Write, which is basically where we all get together at one place, and we sit and work on our own projects.  It's great because no matter how badly you want to get up and do absolutely anything other than wrestle with your characters or twist that plot some more, you feel guilty if you do get up.  It calls attention to you, which, as most writers will tell you, is one thing we don't want - that's why we write, not act.

The Group Write is also great for having a set amount of time put aside for writing.  Even if you spend the entire time moving paragraphs around or changing everything from present tense to past, you are still committing yourself to working on your project for a couple hours that day.  For some writers, especially part-time authors who have that whole full-time non-writing career to spend 40 hours a week with, those hours with the group can sometimes be the only hours all week that get spent on their project.

Finally, I love a Group Write simply because it brings writers together.  Ask any writer and they'll tell you: writing can be a lonely job.  And it can be frustrating as hell.  Writers spend a lot of time in the world of our characters.  We step into their worlds, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours, surrounded by "people" we have become attached to, "people" we know better than some of the people we know in real life.  And when it's time for us to step back out of that world and into the one with the three-dimensional people, well, sometimes we've been gone so long we simply can't find any 3-Ders. 

Which is why a Group Write can be so beneficial.  It brings writers, who are loners by trade, together, yet it still lets them be in their own fictional world where they need to be to play the role of creator.  It helps ease the transition from Almighty God to Plain Jane.  If nothing else, it reminds you that you're not the only one insane enough to listen to the voices in your head and write down their stories.


Next up on Why You Should Join a Writing Group: Getting Feedback

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