Thinking of joining a writing group?

I’m the type of person who would never have thought about joining a writing group. The idea was just not me. Before the creative writing course it would have been at the bottom of my list of things to do to help my writing.

But at the end of the course a few of us decided to keep in touch. We created a forum where we could post our work; let each other know about competitions and encourage each other to write. We’ve also managed a few Saturday morning gatherings to talk about all things writing.

The main benefit for me is being around people who understand the writing process. These people are going through the same issues, doubts and struggles to find time to write and to get work published. We all share the same end goal and the encouragement helps me focus on my work.

A Picture of a eBook
Image via Wikipedia

We’ve decided to publish an e-book of our work. A deadline of the end of September seemed great a few months ago, but it draws ever closer. It has helped me focus on my work and get into gear. I’ll be talking more details about the e-book once we’ve finalised them.

I’ve finished my two stories for the book: A short story called The Forbidden Room and a piece of Flash Fiction called Birthday Surprise. I’m looking forward to getting some of my stories out into the world and as a group we’ve encouraged each other to get the work ready.

Now we just need to decide on a cover, running order and what else we are putting into the book.

So from my experience, I’m really glad I joined the group. It’s made me feel more like a writer and the help and encouragement has certainly kept my focus on getting my work completed.

Thanks for reading.

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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9 Responses to Thinking of joining a writing group?

  1. Katy says:

    That is such a brilliant idea! I recently joined a writers’ group too, and have found their encouragement and support the most helpful.
    All the best with completing the ebook!

  2. Kim says:

    Yeah, I think I should find some kind of writing group online since the remote village I live in wouldn’t have enough people for a writing group. I really need motivation to work the work, know what I mean? The work needs my effort to get done. It won’t write itself – there isn’t an app for that.

    This is very inspiring! I sense the writing spirit again – I should make more of an effort.

    Barriers: I overestimate or over-analyze my work, especially dialogue. Characters are profiled well and are multidimensional (not cookie-cutter type) – but I have a hard time writing in these voices. They end up having flat dialogue. 😦 Then I get frustrated and quit.

    *Confession of a so-called perfectionist*

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  4. shaunshelf says:

    Good idea but not without its potential pitfalls! I was co-founder of the Redcar Writers’ Group back in the ’70s and was shortly made president/chairman(you could say ‘man’ in those days!). I was concerned at the preponderance of poets in the group(all female) and it quickly descended into a kind of mutual admiration society, with very little criticism. Some ladies bristled at the mere suggestion of altering a comma! I drew up a questionnaire, listing all the genres and asking members to tick the various boxes. This so that I could get a feel for where the groups’ interests lay. Then we could have poetry months, prose months, articles, short stories, etc., all the while emphasising that no names need go on the returned questionnaires. I simply wanted to get a proportional sense or balance of the group.
    Uproar ensued and I was ousted in what can only be described as a feminist coup! Nobody ever came out to say what it was they objected to, it was simply too radical, organised if you will; they simply wanted to to just toddle along twiddling with their verses, doggerel and haikus(when they weren’t discussing clothes, holidays, babies). So I wasn’t really a writng group and I left. Don’t know if I gained or lost by my decision but just felt it wasn’t for me.
    Moral? Advice? Not for me to say but it would be wise to set some parameters at the outset. We are all creatures of habit and quickly settle in to what we are used to elsewhere when a new area of endeavour crops up.
    “Oh, we used to do it this way when…/Not sure I would feel happy with that…/Couldn’t we simply?… And so on.
    Just a thought and good luck, I’m sure it’s all different now out there, if you can get the balance right it could work like an orchestra, a symphony, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, i.e., everybody gains.
    Shaun Ivory

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks for your comments.

      My writing group hasn’t really done much writing to critique recently. When we were all doing the Open University course we were posting more work and commenting, now we are more trying to get an ebook out there and encouraging each other in the writing we are doing. At the moment it is working for us, but I do wonder whether we will get back to actually writing and critiquing. Maybe.

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