Why should you join a writing group?
Writing can be lonely. Sitting at a computer, typewriter or writing in notebook are things you do alone. You don’t get feedback, you can’t ask questions and you don’t have a cheering squad of people chanting, “You can write it!” And there are many times you need someone to encourage you.
Writing groups motivate and help you because you are surrounded by people who care about you and your writing. They want you to succeed and achieve your dreams.
What is a Writing Group?
It’s a community of people who help each other grow as writers. These can be communities with all different kinds of writers or they can be writers focused on a specific interest.
You’ll see writing groups based on genres, writing goals, writing projects etc.
Some writing groups are temporary and end after a set amount of time. Other writing communities are on-going.
4 Types of Amazing Writing Groups
There are 4 major types of writing groups: Writing Workshop Groups, In-person Writing Groups, Writing Challenge Groups and Writing Communities.
#1 Writing Workshop Groups
These are groups where people share writing and give feedback on others’ work. Sometimes workshop groups do writing activities together. For example, people might freewrite or brainstorm at the beginning of a workshop.
Writing workshops focus on developing writing skills and crafting great pieces of writing. You can participate in writing workshops locally or online.
The comments and suggestions you get from other writers help you progress and advance your writing ability. However, workshop groups can seem intimidating if you are new to writing or nervous about sharing your work. If that’s you, search for writing workshops for beginners.
#2 In-person Writing Groups
In this type of writing group, individuals meet in one place and write together. You will also find that people talk about their writing with each other. During National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), you’ll see a lot of these writing groups pop-up and have “write-ins.”
There isn’t normally a critiquing element. But you may get some feedback from other members. This is a good type of writing group for you to join, if you’re not ready to receive constructive criticism on your writing.
#3 Writing Challenge Groups
A writing challenge group is based on one common activity or project. Members concentrate on a specific goal that they try to achieve in set amount of time. Writing challenge groups end on a pre-determined day.
NaNoWriMo is a huge writing challenge where people attempt to write a 50,000-word novel during November. There are many NaNoWriMo groups that exist from November 1st–November 3oth.
Writing challenges are highly motivating because you become laser-focused on your reaching your goal. You support others who want to succeed at the challenge too. Writing challenge groups energize you and inspire you to write (a lot)!
# 4 Writing Communities
Usually, writing communities are online, but you can have other larger groups gather together (especially at conferences). The aim of a writing community is to build an environment where writers relate to each other.
In writing communities, you can discuss things you are struggling with, questions you have, as well as share your successes. Many writing communities offer a place for you to share your writing, so others can give you feedback on your work.
How to Select a Writing Group
Every writing group can motivate you and ignite your writing. But, some will help you more than others. If you want to find a writing group, think about what you want to get out of participating in one. Which one fits your personality and your writing goals?
Here are questions to help you choose the best writing group/s for you.
- Where are you in your writing journey? Are you at a point where you want to be a part of a workshop group?
- How do you feel about sharing your work with other writers?
- How do you like to socially interact with others? Do you prefer in-person interaction, online interaction or do you like both?
- Do you want to get feedback on your work?
- Do you need a lot of motivation to write?
- Do you want guidance and activities that will help you grow as a writer?
- Do you want to be surrounded by writers who write in the same genre? (poetry, science fiction, romance, mystery writers, academic writers etc.)
- Do you want to connect with writers of all different genres?
Write down your answers to these questions. Compare your responses to the descriptions of each type of writing group. Next, search online and locally to find the type of writing group that is best for you.
There is something unique about being part of dedicated group of people who love writing. I encourage you to seek out other writers and find those special people who will support you. Find the people you can help too. We are all stronger and better writers when we connect with people who are passionate about writing.
Do you want to participate in a writing group, but feel like you don’t have the time to commit to one?
Join my Free Facebook Group, The Ultimate Online Writing Community for Busy People. This is great place to bond with other writers and elevate your writing (even if you feel overwhelmed by everything else in life). You will be inspired to write and achieve your dreams.
Check out my Facebook Live Video, How to Find the Perfect Writing Group To Help You Grow as a Writer, and learn more about selecting a writing group.