Joining the (Writer) Club

In years past I’ve hung around forums (I recommend Absolute Write), blogged and networked online, and generally thrown myself toward a web community of awesome creative people, but I’ve never been part of a writers’ group.

A few months ago I decided that, because I needed a kick in the creative pants, I’d start a Facebook group for local-to-me writers. We could rally and connect through the power of the interwebs and then, if things felt right, meet in person and make it official.

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Monday night was our first meeting! We converged on our town’s park—gray sky and blustery wind would not deter us—some with writing samples, others with a casual rundown of their journey and expectation. Out of the current nine in our group, five were able to attend. Not too shabby, methinks.

While so far we’re all women, we’re diverse in age, in resume, in personality, in chosen genre and publication goals. Given all this I think we’ll work well together, offering varied insight and constructive criticism, holding each other accountable, and encouraging each other—maybe we’ll even engage in a little friendly competition—to work and improve and make stuff happen.

Though I’ve never spearheaded anything before, and am not sold on being the “leader” of this group, I’m glad I took the initiative to get it going. I have some pretty solid intentions, and I hope the effort ahead proves to be beneficial for us all, in more ways than one.

If you’re a writer, are you part of a “club” or guild? What are its benefits for you?

If you’re not a writer, is there some other kind of group of which you’re a member? Do tell!

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About Janna

writer, editor, marketing assistant, resume consultant, mom, wannabe philosopher, advocate, and possibilitarian / you can call me Janna

Posted on September 17, 2014, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I used to belong to a few critique groups. The longest lasting group is made up of local women who meet as friends and occasionally brainstorm plot ideas and back cover matter. We usually do a writing retreat once or twice a year. It is important to keep writers around and these women are friends for life.

    Good for you for starting a group when none existed. I wish you the best of luck!

  2. Well done, Janna! Yes, I belong to multiple writing groups–each of them having a different role in my career. Some are large organizations that meet monthly and two others are on-line groups. These types of groups are great for supporting a writer, whatever stage of the writing journey you are on! Keep it going, girl. 🙂

  3. I think it’s fantastic that you started such a group. I bet you’ll benefit from it and have a lot of fun along the way.
    I’ve never belonged to a writers’ group though someone in my small city was going to start one this year and said she’d contact me but I guess it never happened. Maybe I’ll look her up!

    • This approach is new to me. The online forum (Absolute Write, which I linked to in the post) was a virtual writers’ group, and I learned SO much from that community. The people and information found there are largely responsible for my experience being what it is.

      You should definitely look her up!

  4. I’m not part of any writing groups (in person). I would love to be, however! I don’t know of any in my area, though one would think it would be rich with these groups (I live in San Francisco). Maybe it’s because thinking of joining a group is intimidating to me, so I “can’t find” any?? Whatever the reason, real or imagined, I am not part of a group, sadly. I think they are important for writers of all levels, but I hold back. Insecure much? I’m pretty good at stepping out of my comfort zone, challenging myself, but when it comes to finding an in-person group to join, I fall flat. The ideal group for me would consist of 10 members or less at various stages or levels of their writing career.

    Maybe one day… 😉

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting, ljwrite! I can appreciate (and relate to) your predicament. Are you an introvert by any chance? 🙂

  5. I’ve belonged to several critique groups over the years, and they’ve been critical to my development as a writer. I’ve gotten to the point, though, where I think I would benefit more from beta readers. It just depends on what your needs are at the time.

    A group of women writers is great, especially if you’re writing romance and women’s fiction. It’s good to have a male perspective once in a while, but I’ve learned that there’s a reason it’s called women’s fiction–most men just don’t get it.

  6. Writing groups can be so much fun, Janna, and to be able to sit down with like minded people is totally awesome. I belong to several groups, but attendance is mostly online. I don’t know what I’d do without my writing peeps. 🙂

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