Monday, October 24, 2011

The Benefits of Belonging to a Writing Group

Do you belong to a writing group? If you do then you may know the benefits of being part of a group of people with the same goals as yourself. If you haven't thought about the need to become a member of a group you might consider these benefits.
  • Writing is a solitary activity and belonging to a group forces you to relate to real people rather than the characters in your mind. Whether it is in person, by an online web cam, or within an online group who email back and forth, it will help keep your mind and your writing fresh.  You will gain feedback from a real person and return your opinions in an exchange that will help you improve as a writer. It will give you  a sense of belonging to these members and help you to be accountable for your writing and your goals.
  • An active writing group can offer critiques and suggestions when your manuscript seems to stall. An outsider can give an objective view of what is taking place in the story and shed light on making your characters come alive.
  • Being in an active and positive writing group is a way to network, find writing connections, and share contacts in the publishing world.
  • A writing group can help market your work and in return you will do the same. It is a win win for all active members and can lead to collaboration on future projects.
Making the most of a writing group is a big responsibility but well worth the effort. Be active, do your part to critique and participate in a timely manner, be respectful of the other members and their work, and share in promoting and networking. Keep communication open. Be honest if you cannot uphold your responsibility for a period of time and be dependable. Your commitment will ensure the success for all group members and that can only improve your chances for writing success.

Terri Forehand- Author of The Cancer Prayer Book ( )


Karen Cioffi said...


Great information and I agree. Writing groups are so important, you can learn and share, and it all helps you hone your craft.

I especially like the last paragraph - it's key to being a 'responsible' group member. One, other note, if you decide to leave a group (even if it seems very informal, or it's large), it's courteous if you let the group moderator know.

It'd also be courteous, if you have been active at all, to post a 'good bye' message to the group.

One thing I've found working with people online is that they seem to forget about being considerate or courteous. It only takes a few minutes and makes a world of difference.

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Emily R. King said...

I quite enjoyed this post. You've described writing groups as a community with give and take. I think it's important when you're participating in any group to do your share of the work. We'd all like our work critiqued, but when it comes time to stop writing to critique someone else's writing, it's easy to hesitate.

Virginia S Grenier said...

Great post. One I'll be added to my top blog post lists.

Saumya said...

This is so true! I used to be part of one in New York City and now medical school is getting in the way of me connecting with other writers. It is one of the best things a writer can do. Great post! Thanks for coming to my blog from Janet's :) Glad you found me!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I hope this post encourages many to join a group or to form a group of their own. In The Frugal Book Promoter ( I suggest the best way to form one is to take a class at a local university and ask fellow students who seem compatible with you (and who seem to know a lot about writing!) to join you. I belong to one formed like that and we're going on 12 years!

D. Jean Quarles said...

Great post! So very true. Incredible value.

T. Forehand said...

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate the sense of community I feel when comments are made. You all make very good points especially the reminders to be curteous to our fellow group members.

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