They say that writing is a solitary craft.

Most of the time you’re working on your own unless you count the characters in your head. I’m not sure I want to go down the road of counting them as “helping” me write. Hinder more like!

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net This could be me, if I had hair, didn't wear glasses and was a few years younger!

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This could be me, if I had hair, didn’t wear glasses, lost some weight and was a few years younger!

There are some writing double acts. P.J. Tracey are a mother and daughter writing team who specialise in American Crime novels. I’ve read most of their books, and don’t notice that it’s written by two people. Their novels about the Monkeywrench team are an enjoyable series to read.

I guess they can encourage each other as they work. They are family after all, but what do you do if you don’t have a writing twin, parent or child?

You need encouragement.

There have been {many, many} times in the past when I’ve considered abandoning the dream. Wondered whether it’s all worth it.

Enter, the writing group.


Last Saturday, the Steel City Writers met for the first time in 2014. It was good to catch up with my fellow comrades and we even welcomed a new member of the group. Another person with enthusiasm and passion about the stories she wants to tell.

I have mentioned my views on writing groups in previous posts, including one of my first posts Thinking of joining a writing group? Blogging has enabled me to *meet* many other writers who all offer encouragement and the benefit of their wisdom, trials and tribulations etc.

Sometimes you just want to sit down with like-minded folk in the knowledge that they are going through the same struggles and doubts. Books to recommend. Software to talk about. Collective encouragement helps keep me thinking about my work. Spurs me on to finish the damned thing!

It really is good to talk!

I still haven’t resumed my editing, but I feel I will soon. Their encouragement (or was it badgering?) certainly helped. 🙂

Who/what gives you the encouragement to keep slogging away at your computer to write your masterpiece?

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.
This entry was posted in General, Novel In Progress, Reading, Steel City Writers, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Encouragement

  1. Miriam says:

    Writing groups, writing competitions, writing courses, challenges like NaNoWriMo and the hope that one day I will succeed in doing what I set out to do about ten years ago.

  2. 4amWriter says:

    I find encouragement in the very fact that I still need to reach my big goal. I quit once before, and I have no intention of going back down that road.

  3. Good post, Pete. I don’t have an in-person group but I have two on-line groups. Good luck with the editing.

  4. I just joined our local writers’ group I hope to start networking. I also have a lot of friends online that I keep close by.

  5. Having someone to bounce off of is a great help for any creative process. Sometimes we don’t even need feedback, just someone to listen while we talk through the process.

    • Pete Denton says:

      That’s it in a nutshell. It’s a lot easier to speak out loud to people you know rather than a room full of strangers! That only leads to complications 🙂

  6. Who is that guy? Who says you can’t compete?
    Right now I am not excited about working on my opus because it’s in the re-re-re-writing stage. That is where things become a slog. The excitement is the new writing, when I just can’t stay away from the computer! Wish it weren’t so!

  7. Carrie Rubin says:

    I haven’t yet joined a writer’s group–one, because I’m a very reluctant face-to-face socializer, and two, as you point out, there is a wealth of support online from other writers. I’ve learned much from other bloggers and writers. But I’m sure there is something one gets from in-person debate that one doesn’t get online. I do go to a bookclub, so I at least have that venue to discuss the literary world.

    Thanks for stopping by my site. I appreciate it!

    • Pete Denton says:

      I’ve seen your gravatar around a number of blogs I visit. Thought it was time I stopped by 🙂

      I was a reluctant face-to-face socializer too. Probably the fact we’d all met on-line first helped.

      The on-line community is a great source of encouragement on its own. Happy writing 🙂

  8. Great post again Pete and good to see a photo of you in your more stressful days (nearly said younger then).

    I’m not part of a writing circle but participate in various discussion groups and hearing from the diverse mix of accomplished and novice writers I gain motivation to continue writing. If that does’t work, I remind myself that I’ve bumped my gums for so long about wanting to have the opportunity to write and now that it is here, I need to put my money where my mouth is, shut up and get on with writing something – anything.

  9. I have often thought about doing my autobiography. People would think it was made up, but it would be a depressing read.

  10. jmmcdowell says:

    It’s my blog buddies who can pick me up when my enthusiasm and confidence lag, as they are so wont to do. I’ve learned so much about writing from everyone, but it’s also a great friendship network to have.

  11. Gwen Stephens says:

    I don’t have an in-person writer’s group, but I draw a lot of encouragement an inspiration from my online friends – both via blogging and my critique partners (all of whom I’ve met in online workshops). One of these days I will gather enough courage to join a local group or start one of my own.

  12. Jemima Pett says:

    You’re right, Pete – having a support group of other writers is great. I get a lot of support from people like you, but really and truly, meeting up more or less monthly with my friends from a writing course a year or two ago is the best thing that happens in my off-line life. Sad but true. And we do need an off-line life…

  13. Those characters in my head might not be real, but sometimes they have some really good ideas! How could I ignore them?…………lol

  14. I’ve been a member of a writing group ever since I started pursuing this Picture Book dream of mine. The blog world has only broadened my circle of excellent critiquers.

    So glad that you found a group that’s a good fit!

  15. I tend to seek excuses more than encouragement for my writing to be honest! Right now my studying is a really good excuse, although of course that involves a lot of writing, so I guess I am writing…I AM writing 🙂

  16. So true. I’ve got several writer-friends around town who I love talking shop with. Just recently had a good friend win a fairly prestigious award for her first novel…talk about inspiring! Having a great circle of people around you (both online and in person) makes a ton of difference, especially when facing all the doubts that we as writers face.

  17. I love my writing group. There are dangers is writing what colleagues want you to write, rather than your own story, but with care, writing groups are very beneficial.

  18. The person who encourages me to keep writing (aside from my twin, of course) is the person I refer to on my blog as “Loyal Reader.” I’m not a member of a writing group, and haven’t been for several years (I still miss them!), but there’s nothing like having a group of people to meet with in person to talk about everyone’s latest writing projects.

  19. IntrovertedSarah says:

    I would love a group that doesn’t critique…or am I taking the reason for meeting out of it? One that sits together and writes, sips coffee, grumbles every now and then and maybe asked for advice but mostly they write. Where is that group?

    • Pete Denton says:

      You should start your own group and set the rules the way you want them.

      My group is more about chatting about writing and inspiring each other. We don’t bring work to read and critique though we have done that in the past when doing our Creative Writing course.

      I’m not big on that type of thing so glad the others don’t seem to want to do that yet!

  20. Kourtney Heintz says:

    I have a critique partner/best friend who keeps me sane. We do weekly chats on Skype. 🙂 I also have my blog buddies who cheer me on and commiserate with me over the almosts. 🙂

  21. Kourtney Heintz says:

    And congrats on finding like minded individuals who give you encouragement with your writing!

Let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s