Wednesday, 20 January 2016
One of my New Year Resolutions Bea-ing Resolved was to join a writing group. So far I have discovered three groups that meet locally. I have visited one, am due at another next week and still have to decide whether to look at the third. What seemed like a good idea at the beginning of the year doesn’t feel that way now. Why am I so uncertain? And how will I know when I find the right one?
One of my reasons for being part of a writing group is to socialise with like-minded individuals; the other is to seek advice on whether a particular piece of writing is good enough for submission. I already achieve both of these online.
I am a member of an online writing group, Fiction Addiction, which is wonderfully supportive. Mostly the stories we share and critique are intended for the womag market. Because they understand that market, I trust the members to tell me whether a particular story is working.
Socially, I ‘attend’ a weekly Twitter meet-up with fellow writers. (Each Wednesday evening, from 8pm to 9pm UK time, use the hashtag #writingchat to find us.) We talk about writing topics generally. There is usually a theme to start the conversation. It’s rather like walking into a crowded party where there are dozens of conversations happening. With Twitter you can flit in and out of them all. It’s fun, interesting and usually makes me laugh out loud.
So if I already have a critique group and a social circle, what extra benefits am I looking for by attending a local group? It would be good to meet real people who understand what it is to be a writer; to know that I am not alone with my computer; to be challenged and stimulated; to stretch myself and my writing beyond its narrow genre confines. I know it will take me time to feel comfortable with new people, enough to lay bare my sensitive writing soul.
I’ve never been a member of a local writing group before so am not sure what to expect. Are you a member of a writing group? If so, what benefits do you find there? Any advice for me?