Should you join a local writing group?

Writing is usually a very solitary experience, and therefore writers can become quite isolated. But joining a local face-to-face writing group is one of the best things you can do as an aspiring writer.

A lot of people are reluctant to join a writing group; it seems quite daunting to meet a group of strangers and even show them your work. However, it’s well worth manning up and getting out of your comfort zone to go along to one, because there are so many benefits.

The first benefit is that of sharing our experience and learning about how other people work. It can be very enlightening to see how other people have gone through the same process as you, or alternatively, how they approach things completely differently. You can pick up useful tips on how to beat writer’s block.

The second major benefit is getting feedback on your work. Most writing groups hold critique sessions, where members read each other’s work and give feedback and comments. This input should always be given taken in a positive manner – the purpose is to be constructive and help a member improve their skills – not find fault. Receiving feedback from other writers is so much more helpful than you might imagine if you’ve never done it, and it’s infinitely more useful than getting non-writer family and friends to try to give you constructive criticism.

A third benefit is that you can find out about writing competitions, writing related events in your area and even get special offers for writing related products such as books and writing software. This beats trawling the web for hours on your own, and still not finding out about half of it.

Finally, a writing group is a great place to meet useful contacts. This is exactly the kind of place where you’ll find successful published authors, who may know people that they can introduce you to help you launchyour writing career.

So, if you’re serious about becoming an author, but haven’t yet attended a local writing group, I urge you to overcome you reluctance and try a few out!