This is a Book Week guest post from Emily Carlisle of More than Just a Mother.
Writing is a solitary activity and for the most part this is an appealing aspect of the craft. But sharing your work with others can bring enormous pleasure as well as adding to your skills and creativity. One way to do this is to join a writing group.
Attending a regular writing group is a great way of motivating yourself to write something for each session. Whether you’re working on a lengthy project or penning a new short story each time, there’s nothing like a deadline to give you focus.
Creativity won’t breed in a vacuum, so it’s vital to get out and about, read different works and hear new stories. A writing group will give you exposure to genres you might not usually seek out, and it’s surprising what can spark an idea. Maybe you’re after specific suggestions? A brain-storming session with your group could be just what you need.
Like it or loathe it, few of us believe we can learn our craft without feedback from others. The right kind of writing group will offer supportive, constructive critique, enhancing your writing skills and giving you a greater understanding of your readership.
Joining a writing group is a great way to keep up to date with literary festivals, competitions and new paying markets. You could share subscriptions to writing magazines or simply swop snippets of information picked up on blogs and forums.
Finding a group
If you decide to take the plunge, have a look on the internet and in the local paper for details of writing groups running in your area. Ask at the library or at your nearest adult education centre. If there isn’t a group near you, why not start one? All you need is two or three like-minded people and somewhere to meet. You could take it in turns to host or meet in the back room of a pub. Ask the local paper to run a short article on the new group and you’ll have plenty of members in no time.
Joining a writing group is a great way to keep motivated, meet new people and develop your writing skills. So what’s stopping you?