Joining a writing group.

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I have been giving this a lot of thought lately, I have read a lot about the benefits of a writing group. Having your worked critiqued by an honest group would be very beneficial. I also enjoy reading other people’s work. There is a local writing group that meets once a month at our local library but so far I have resisted going.

It might seem strange to why I haven’t done it, but I do find joining new groups in the flesh very hard. I live in a rural area and it can be very cliquey. Being a teacher doesn’t help, I relay don’t want to turn up and find one of them is related to someone I teach or have taught in the past. I did briefly toy with starting my own writing group up but then would have the added hassle of organising it, I already have far too much to fill my time as it is. I will have to stop being a wimp and just go. The next meeting is on the 5th March I will have screw my courage to the sticking place and just go, what is the worst that can happen?

Anyone have any experience of writing groups, both good and bad?

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31 thoughts on “Joining a writing group.

  1. I live in a big city and there are several different kinds of groups available. One of the larger groups I’m in meets twice a month, but they mostly give out writing exercises designed to stimulate the would be writer to get started. Then we meet and share results. That’s okay unless I’m working on a time consuming project. I’d like to have a smaller group that meets for honest critiques, but every time I’ve joined one it fell apart quickly…usually because one or two people monopolized the group’s time and resources unfairly. Not well moderated. I think there is much value in them if you can connect with the right group. I’m still looking. Meetup.com has several in my area that I’m thinking of checking out. It sounds like your smaller group is just what I’m looking for. I came from a rural area, and I miss the small town camaraderie, but can also see how it might get uncomfortable. I’d just go, see how it feels to you…then you’ll know, otherwise, you won’t.

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  2. The benefits of belonging to a writing group far outweigh any initial discomfort you might feel when trying to find one, but I must stress here that you need to find the RIGHT group for your needs. Like the fabled princess, you will need to kiss several toads before you find that prince of writing groups! Most groups will let visitors come along to a meeting or two, and by then you should have a good idea of how they work and whether or not they’re right for you. Keep trying until you find your tribe, and the best of British luck to you!

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  3. Agree with Susan. I’ve been a member of a couple of groups and there can be a lot of value to be had out of them, but your experience will vary depending on the experience, skill, and goals of the members of the group.

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  4. I love the idea of a writing group, but I am really bad about actually going to one. The whole “ugh I can’t fit one more thing into my schedule. I’m going to have to skip it this week,” suddenly became a year of missed meetings. I even tried a virtual group in which we write, trade WIP, and then pinky swear to send feedback to the others within a week, but without the face-to-face element, the group wound up lacking the social accountability.

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  5. I have no experience of them I’m afraid, but for what it’s worth, I think it might be a good idea. Of course, you might get a lot of useful feedback on what you wrote, but in addition it might also be useful for picking practical tips about how to submit manuscripts, how to format them and so on. Anyway, good look whatever you decide.

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