When I say “writer,” what image comes to mind?
You might picture a veteran wordsmith hunched over a desk, scribbling away at the last pages of a swollen manuscript. You might picture a twenty-something at Starbuck’s equipped with coffee and a laptop, earbuds blasting something by Radiohead. Or you might picture a guy with an axe chopping a hole in a bathroom door. Heeeeere’s Johnny!
Anyway, there’s a common thread among all these hypothetical writers: they write alone. (Yes, even Jack Torrance has his trusty typewriter.) And though writing is often an individual activity, being a writer should be collaborative.
One of the best ways to collaborate on your writing is to join a writer’s group. Here are three reasons why you might want to try it.
They Encourage You to Write
For me, the next project is always more exciting than the current one. When I’ve been working on the same characters for three months, sometimes it’s difficult to muster the same enthusiasm I once had.
That’s where writing group members come in. If you’ve got a good group, they’ll encourage you to keep working on your projects. In my group, for example, we always start our critiques with compliments. This often gives me the confidence to proceed with projects I might’ve otherwise tired of.
They Provide Deadlines
Deadlines are powerful. And when you join a writer’s group, deadlines come free.
In my group, we always send submissions one week before meeting times. It’s not a hard deadline, per se, but we all respect each other, so we stick to those deadlines.
Though they might seem intimidating, deadlines are actually awesome. They force us to actually finish our work rather than return for the hundredth rewrite.
They Give You Great Book Recommendations
This one might not be obvious, but it’s true. The best writers are great readers. So, odds are your fellow writers will recommend great books you’ve never heard of. They might be fiction, or they might be about writing itself. Whatever the recommendations are, you can be sure you’ll enjoy them.
I’ve found that since everyone in our group shares more or less the same interests and goals in writing, I’ve gotten some great book recommendations from them.
I’m Convinced! Now How Do I Join?
Join a group today!