There’s something about writing groups that sucks us in – don’t you agree?
The idea that like minded people with a passion for writing can meet whether online or in person has a certain appeal to it. There’s a certain longing within every writer to know they aren’t alone. You know what I’m talking about (even if you want to deny it – I won’t let you).
But is joining a writers group the right step to take? Not all writers groups are equal. Don’t be fooled.
When I first started this journey not only was I a newbie at writing but I was a loner. I had NO idea what to do or even how to go about finding others who could give me some hints. At that point in my life – I needed to find a writers group that loved newbie writers. And eventually I did – a few years later. I learned not only what real writing was, but that I no idea what I was doing and that I needed to learn fast. I joined a few groups within the organization and learned how to critique properly. I even grew as a writer. It was fabulous for me as a newbie Inspy writer.
But I also joined some groups that did nothing for me. I wasted my money when I could have bought myself some good chocolate! Sure – I had newsletters fill my email every week but the sense of community wasn’t there. I was just a number to them. I learned nothing.
I was involved in 3 writing groups for 3 years and I went no where in my writing career. Sure – I improved as a writer. But you can keep improving and still go no where. You can write the best novel out there and still not get published if you don’t know how to do it. How sad is that?
Here’s what I think a good writing community should do for you.
- Teach you craft
- Develop relationships to help you grow – not only personally but also creatively
- Push you to be successful
- Stand behind you NO MATTER what you do
Does your writing community do that? Have you grown in your writing career? Have you become successful? Do you feel supported?
If not – then why are you still a member?
I recently joined a group that has become ‘home’ to me in such a short time. Since joining this group I have become published in a field I never would have pursued. I have met people who have not only supported me but have pushed me to be a better writer. Opportunities have presented themselves that NEVER would have before.
I quit all my other writing groups/organizations. They weren’t right for me. I’m not saying they were bad. But they weren’t the right fit. Maybe I outgrew them. Maybe I should never have joined in the first place. Maybe … they just weren’t what I needed.
I am a firm believer in building your village. Every writer needs one. But not every village is for you. Don’t be fooled. Don’t think that maybe ‘one’ day you’ll fit in. You should know right off the bat if that village is for you or not. Sure … you only get what you give. But you need to want to give …and the right group will fuel that desire in you.
Does your writing group do that for you? Have you outgrown your group or are you still looking for one?
Remember, in the end, all things succumb to chocolate!
If you’re a lover of romance, I hope you’ll pick up on of my books where I write under the name of Anya Winter. Be sure to fall in love with The Master, Stampede Fever (Stampede Sizzlers) and The Blindfold!