Writing Tip: Writer groups

There is nothing I’ve come to appreciate more since I started writing fiction than a writer group.

In measured doses.

Writing groups can be wonderful for encouraging each other to reach your goals and edit your work. They can also be massive sources of distraction and frustration, because just as you may have to tell your family that you need space to write, you may need to tell your writing buddies that too. Writers can be social too, despite their solitary, introverted tendencies – particularly when the plot line isn’t coming to you. I’ve attended write-ins for NaNoWriMo where they only way to get some writers to shut up was to constantly have a word war going on.

But when they are motivated, either by a goal they set or a carrot you dangle in front of them, they can be very well suited to helping you achieve your goals. And of course, the motivation works both ways. Each writer sharpens the other’s writing, especially when you let go of your little baby and admit that it needs some help.

There is an inherent trepidation when you do this, much like what a parent experiences when they first give their child into the hands of a babysitter. Then again, a parent can bring legal action against a babysitter who harms a child, but a writer has no such recourse when a fellow writer suggests it would be best if the eight-page exposition on the virtues of [fill in the blank] get cut.

This is where I would post a picture of Ayn Rand if I wanted to make a point about her writing, but I don’t, and I think you get the point anyway.

So find a writing group and leverage them to strengthen your writing. Just don’t be a taker without being a giver. Value for value, and all that.