Let’s face it, writing is a lonely profession. You sit in front of your computer, concentrating on what words should come next, all alone. Just you, your keyboard and your monitor.
If you are lucky, you have s significant other who will read your words and give feedback, but many of us do not.
So you work on, thinking, typing and maybe even wondering if what you are creating is worthwhile, if anyone, anywhere, would want to read it.
If your friends ask what you do in your free time, they don’t know what to say when you respond, “I write.” Maybe you’ll get a, “That’s nice. What are you writing?” before they smile and move on.
So, what do you do to get the feedback and support that you need? Join some type of writers’ group.
The following are some excellent reasons why you need to take this step:
- Everyone needs motivation to keep going. When you know that a meeting is coming up and that you will be expected to share newly created work, you write.
- Ideas have to come from somewhere. If you’re lucky, your brain is able to come up with enough new ideas to keep you going for a long time. But what happens when you get stuck? Reading and critiquing the work of others and having your work critiqued as well, gives you an opportunity to see what others are doing. You get to ask clarifying questions, share ideas to see what others think of them, and even spend time brainstorming new places to take your story.
- What happens when you write yourself into a dead end? Who do you turn to? That’s another advantage of belonging to a writers’ group. You can ask advice about how to move to the next point, or to choose between beginnings.
- There is nothing that feels as good as a pat on the back. That’s what a good writers’ group will do for you. They’ll mention specific phrases that they like, descriptions that make a scene come alive, characters that are multidimensional. Hearing praise makes us want to work on, to move into the next segment of our story.
- If you post your work on a blog, you, hopefully, will get feedback from an even wider audience. That helps you see what is touching others beyond your narrow circle of readers. This is especially true when writing for a target age group. Say you’ve written the next hit Young Adult novel. How else to find out if it reaches the teenager unless at least one of them reads it? You don’t have to have a blog, but you might be able to find an online group in your genre.
- Belonging to a group that enjoys what you do, that writes and critiques and posts work, makes you a professional. Isn’t that what all writers want to be? You can also join your local writers’ club, such as the California Writers’ Club which has branches all over the state.
There are probably a host of additional reasons why you should join a group. Go online and research. I’ll bet you can find a hundred more.
I hope this helps.
Very nice! Sometimes I think #1 is the most important reason!
Thanks! Obviously I was thinking of the four of us when I wrote this.