In short, Yes!
Here are nine reasons why joining a writing group is a great idea, whether you’re a first-time writer or a published author.
Writing can be lonely
When you’re working in an office environment, you’re usually surrounded by people. Writers, on the other hand, usually work at home, alone. It can be surprisingly lonely, and can feel isolating.
Joining a Writing Group helps you meet like-minded people in an atmosphere you’ll feel comfortable in, and also allows you to ‘network’ – finding out practical information such as who’s submitting where, which publications are looking for contributions, and contacts.
It’ll help you take that first step
One of the things writers often say at our Story Writing Workshops is that the biggest hurdle to get over when starting writing is just that – getting started! Having a definite goal to aim for, and being in a creative environment, can both help beat writer’s block.
It’s motivating and inspiring
Reading something inspiring can motivate you to come up with your own best work.
You get used to writing to deadlines
Being part of a writing group is often the first time aspiring writers have had a deadline to meet. When you’re a writer, getting used to that pressure, and finding ways to handle it, is part of the package!
You get feedback
It can be really helpful to get another perspective – see what someone else thinks. They might flag up points that haven’t occurred to you, and strengths that you haven’t realised you have.
It’s all a learning curve – even for published authors
If writing is new to you, joining a writing group can help you learn tips and tricks, resources and contacts. If you’re an established author, reading and considering other people’s work can help change the way you look at your own.
It helps you handle criticism
Part of being a writer is being able to accept that not everyone will want to publish your story. Considering how personal our work often is to us, rejection can sting. So it helps to get used to handling constructive criticism. It’s important not to take it personally – the first agent JK Rowling sent Harry Potter to returned it with just a rejection slip!
It helps you to be critical, in a constructive way
Looking closely at what works/doesn’t work quite so well for another writer will help you look at your own writing in a fresh light.
You all share an interest, and enthusiasm, and can go on to share ideas and experiences. Developing trust and respect with your fellow authors will help you learn from each other. So it’s win-win.