Most writers agree that writing can be one of the loneliest endeavors. Indulging in quirks like wearing a special shirt or having a special talisman for inspiration are par for the course, but let's face it…in a dark room with a computer as your only companion, it is darn near impossible to figure out if your writing may be the next great American novel or something only a mother could love.
So, what's a writer to do? A surefire way to get feedback is to join a Writer's Group. The ideal Writer's Group is one of like-minded, serious individuals who are truly interested in improving their craft, sharing knowledge, and who will give you honest, constructive feedback in a welcoming and safe-space environment.
Before taking the leap, let's share with you some of the pros and cons of Writer's Groups:
Gain business knowledge. Group members may have acumen on the business side of writing and can offer a support and know-how to navigate the industry. How did their get the publicity to get their book to stand out? How much does it cost to do so? Since most writer's need to have a publicity budget even if you are published by the big four.
Build Community and Friendship. It is wise to network, build solid literary connections and possibly enhance your social life, as well. Not only that, your writer's group will often become your ambassadors and tribe.
Opportunity to Broaden Your Horizons. Learn the art of doing research to bring authenticity to your work. Learn about tools to help you develop character, to be your grammar and spelling critics, such as Grammarly and other online tools to help with scene structure and conflict.
The Rules. As with any group, there have to be guidelines for participation. Carefully review each group's rules for ongoing participation. No guidelines for joining? That's a red flag in and of itself.
Follow the Leader. Does the organizer of the group have good leadership skills? Observe the dynamics and people skills. Are they the loudest voice in the room or a benevolent leader?
Personality Differences. Passionate people = strong personalities. Need we say more?
Finding the right group for you may take some work. Get referrals from other writer friends about groups they may know. Reach out to your local librarian. Do your research online and see what others are saying about the group you are interested in. There are numerous online writer's groups, take it to the forum.
The Wordeee Team would like to hear from you. What has been your experience with Writer's Groups? Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org