Monday, April 1, 2024

2024 - April - Part 3 of Wise Words: Join a Writing Group

 Wise Words, Part 3 - JOIN A WRITING GROUP

This three-part series began with a look at those the three elements consistently appearing on those seven to twenty-five "easy steps" lists to becoming a writer: Write, Read, and Join a Writing Group. Now we tackle that third element.

Don't cringe. Joining a writer's group can be daunting or distressful or a godsend. The outcome depends on what you seek in your writing and in your becoming the writer you want to be.

Why would joining a group be daunting? It's about the search to find a group. No two groups are alike. Some groups are strictly for critiquing. Others are for learning and practicing the craft. Some groups are social-oriented. Some are a combination. 

Joining a group can also be distressful. Sharing one's work often feels worse than public speaking. 

When getting or giving feedback, it's important to keep logic and objectivity center stage, not emotions and subjectivity. Sure, writers want praise, but if that's the only goal, then the writer isn't likely to grow as a writer, are they? 

As I've said many times over the years, all a reader has to go by are the actual words on the page and the dictionary meaning of those words and how they are strung together coherently. It's a movie that must form in the reader's mind as they read.

Finding the right group of writers is a trial and error process until you find "the one." To locate a group near you, check your local library or book store. You can go online and look, too. I would recommend checking out the one I belong to—Pennwriters,, or search for a genre-specific writing group like mystery, romance, fantasy/Sci-fi, horror writers, and so on.

In a nutshell, joining a compatible-for-you writer's group can be a godsend that provides hope, encouragement, enlightenment, help, education, and honesty about the words written on a page. 

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