Writing Groups

They say that writing is a lonely occupation. Not wrong are they?

There are times in your writing life that you need to sit and talk with other writers. Like anything you’re interested in, you talk to your friends or your family. People who share a passion for the same things as you are going to want to talk about it. Help you through the tough times and the doubts.

A writing group should be the same. Providing you can get into one that suits your needs then it can be a wonderful experience and one to help inspire you to keep writing.

SCW_members_badge

I’ve mentioned before about the Steel City Writers. We studied the same Open University course and met through that both on-line forums and a couple of tutorials. A few of us have kept in touch and we meet up every couple of months. We even published a FREE anthology of our work: Just Get It Out There.

Our group is more about helping each other with encouragement and advice. We spur each other on to keep writing. I know some groups are more about taking your work along and reading or critiquing at the meetings. I don’t think I would like that to be honest. I just want to be able to talk about writing with people who are experiencing the same doubts and pressures against their time.

I’d feel self-conscious about reading my work to others even though I’m happy now to let people read my stuff and pass comment. In a concentrated form I think that might stress me out too much.

I know when I’m feeling doubt and finding my writing a slow progress, a meeting of the group keeps me going for the next few weeks.

Do you belong to a Writing Group? What are your experiences?

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This is my W post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. A list of all my A to Z Blogging Challenge posts are to be found here.

Today’s photographs are of Warwick Castle. Shocked? I could have gone for Whitby, but I’ve done the coastal theme enough for this challenge.

Warwick Castle (35)

Warwick Castle (20)

Check out the stained glass!

Warwick Castle (33)

And more.

Warwick Castle (48) Warwick Castle (54)

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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.
This entry was posted in A to Z Blogging Challenge, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Writing Groups

  1. Kris says:

    I like the last two of your photos the best…wish I could see that in person. No writing groups for me, though it would be nice. Even one friend who loves writing can fit the bill…at least it does for me at the moment.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Warwick Castle is a great place to visit. I think the penultimate shot is what remains of the old moat. Even one person to share your writing discussions with is a bonus 🙂

  2. Subtlekate says:

    But I’m very shy!

    • Pete Denton says:

      I was the same. Maybe it was easier because we’d all been on the same university course. I was so nervous at our first meeting, but now I really look forward to the meetings and they definitely get me writing. 🙂

  3. katemsparkes says:

    I wish! There’s nothing here. Not even in the closest city, 45 minutes away. My closest NaNoWriMo “local” group is 4 hours east of me. No, when I need to vent frustrations about writing or share the joys or beg for a kick in the pants, I put it on my blog. This is the best writing community I have access to, and it’s a great one.

    It would be nice to have a unified, local group to meet for coffee and critique, though. :/

    • Joanne says:

      You might want to join F2K on saturday mornings. It is a great place to meet writers online. Just Google it. It is part of the online Writers University, but F2K is free and open to anyone.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Have you thought about setting up your own group? You could see whether there are any other people, more local interested.

      I do agree that the online writing community is very supportive and a great place to discuss issues and concerns for others to help with their ideas and support.

  4. Joanne says:

    Yes, i do belong to a writers group, Marco Island Writers. It started when our founder ran a small classified ad in the local newspaper to see if there were other writers she could net work with. The first meeting had 2 attendees. The second had two different ones. We are approaching our 2nd anniversary in June and we now have 38 members and an email list of over 100.
    Our group meets once a month with our focus on Writers Helping Writers. Typically, we have a speaker the first hour. Then the 2nd hour we either do readings and critiques or we do a fun excersise in flash fiction. That is a big hit. Through the group, several writers have formed one-on-one writing partner relationships. I meet once a week with another author to dig into our WIP. I love our group.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Great idea. I think if there isn’t a group near you, advertising in the local paper is a great way to start the ball rolling. Brilliant that you already have so many members inside two years. I think those numbers might be a bit big for my comfort zone, but great that it seems to work for you and that you are able to get together with other writers on the more one to one basis to go through your work. Sounds great. 🙂

  5. I belong to two “critique” groups. We are part of a larger community of over 300 writers in the Triangle area – we sort ourselves out by available time and place. Work gets sent out several days in advance so we have a chance to look it over critically. These groups have helped me improve my writing, plot design, characters, tension – you name it. They’re an invaluable resource, and occasionally when one of us gets discouraged, the others are there to pick them up and gently 😉 push them along. I also view it as paying back to the writer community, since I get to help others along. I can’t imagine writing in a vacuum!

    • Pete Denton says:

      Another where the group seems to really meet your requirements. I think writing groups, like the online community, can be a great place to help with your writing. Great you’ve found one like this 🙂

  6. I do belong to a writing group though they have meetings at times I usually can’t make. I’ll be joining another group this summer. I don’t mind being alone but I do like interacting in person sometimes.

  7. jmlibby says:

    Being new to the writing scene, I value the comradery I find with my online NaNo group. They might be scattered across the state, but we all share the same hesitancies and doubts. Most of us blog, too, which is a bonus. I’ve got one close friend who is a NaNo veteran, and she has been immensely helpful. I know I can count on her for feedback.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Where would we all be without the online community? Great you’ve got a great NaNo group. The one I was on last August barely said a word to each other!

      • jmlibby says:

        One of us posts near-daily. A few of the the members are published and offer support through experience to those of us newbies. We cheer each other on and discuss goals, struggles, etc. I doubt I’d have made it in November or last month without them.

  8. munstermann says:

    I always wanted to become a part of offline writers group, but no luck so far.
    Cheers,
    Johnny.

  9. I belong to two different groups. Each has it’s place and idiosycrisies.

  10. I’m a member of two critique groups. They are both encouraging of my writing and give me invaluable advice. If I didn’t have access to face-to-face meetings, I think I would seek out an on-line group. Without the expectation of producing pages every few weeks, it would be too easy to slack off.

    • Pete Denton says:

      I like the face-to-face meetings, but I’m not sure I could go through the whole critiquing of my work or having to critique others every meeting. Maybe I’m too shy!

  11. Nick Wilford says:

    I do a lot of talking about writing online but have never been in a group. I imagine it would only help. I’ve searched before, but found nothing near me.

    Nice pics. We visited Warwick Castle, but unfortunately my stepson couldn’t access any of the interiors in his wheelchair.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Nick.

      You should set up your own group. Create it on your terms and advertise for members.

      Warwick castle is a great place, disappointing that they’ve not set things up to accommodate everyone. I’m sure there are things they could do to help.

  12. Mart Dawson says:

    The arch in the water is a fantastic photo. incredible pic.

  13. shell flower says:

    I hooked up with a writing group that meets weekly while participating in a serial story hosted by our local newspaper. We do Milford style critique where we all read one person’s writing (we have a 5k word limit tops per week) and then we go around the table each giving a critique with no interruptions, then after everyone has gone it’s sort of a free for all. It’s amazing how much better the critique is using this approach. Sometimes we just hang out and write, like tonight, because we are all busy with life.

    • Pete Denton says:

      That sounds great. I’m sure I would get into the critiquing once I’d done it a while. We had to do this in our online forums for our creative writing course, so it’s not like I haven’t done that before.

      Great to have a group to hang out and write with. 🙂

  14. ReGi McClain says:

    Our group is similar to yours. I don’t think I’d like a critique group much, either. In fact, the few attempts our fearless leaders have made to put one together failed miserably.

  15. djtsmith says:

    No writing group…except for online. I just don’t think I’d like a writing group. I’m probably wrong. I’m pretty critical of my writing. This blogging has been the best thing to get over not really wanting to share my stuff. Maybe a real live group would be the next step? I just don’t think so. Do I have a problem? First the therapy group, then the writers’ group.

    • Pete Denton says:

      I don’t think the groups are for everyone and some styles of groups would not be to my taste either. Therapy then writing, though the writing group might help and save the cost of the therapy 🙂

  16. EllaDee says:

    It’s one of my dreams for when I get a life to be part of a writers group. I don’t go OTT on groups but in the right amount and the right people they are interesting. At various, and separate, times I’ve been part of Women Who Run With The Wolves groups, psychic development groups, meditation groups, reading groups… you get as much out as you put in 🙂

    • Pete Denton says:

      That is a lot of groups you’ve been involved in. 🙂

      I think like you say, you get out of them what you put in them. I’m very happy to be in the group I’m in. We certainly seem to work for each other.

  17. Loved the stained glass. I think I prefer one-on-one critiques. I’ve worked with a crit partner on both manuscripts and find that her feedback helps me get to the next level in my writing. In groups, I’ve found people tend to jump on other people’s critiques and you aren’t really getting each person’s feedback but almost consensus feedback. In terms of writing support groups, I’ve found that in my blog buddies and my conference friends. People I can email a question or have a meltdown with. I think it’s what works for you. And it sounds like the writing group is going great for you, so congrats! 🙂

    • Pete Denton says:

      The stained glass is good. 🙂

      I agree about finding what works for you. We’re all different in how we work so finding what you need to get your WIPs to the best level is great. Sometimes I think we need more members to our group and other times I think we have the number just right with 3!

  18. My areas too small for a writing group unfortunately so I sit in front of a mirror now.
    The pictures of Warwick Castle are stunning Pete, especially the stained glass.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, David. I wasn’t that bothered about going at first as I’d been on a school trip years ago. We really enjoyed the day and the stained glass in the church was stunning 🙂

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