If you’re a writer of fiction and poetry like me, you may be looking for ways to expand your writing community or help others showcase their own writing. Here I’ve listed some advantages I am inexplicably grateful for in my own creative writing group.
1. Give and receive feedback. Some writers (including myself) cringe when another set of eyes are exposed to the work they have slaved over and nurtured like a child. While presenting your work to the criticism of others may seem like a daunting task, see it as an opportunity to ask questions to others about their stories and provide answers for other people’s questions about your own work. Opening your eyes to the opinions of others is a good first step in understanding how readers may receive your work in the future.
2. Accountability. How often do we as writers procrastinate working on our drafts, meeting deadlines, etc.? Having other people you can account to for your writing throughout the week will help you stick to your goals. When other people are aware of what you are trying to accomplish with your writing, they can be a support system that will help you meet checkpoints regarding time spent writing, manuscript length, etc.
3. Bounce ideas off of each other. Writer’s Block is a pain. Enough said.
4. Reading opportunities. As writers, we are also readers. Many writers I know (including myself) try to find opportunities to expose themselves to new types of books or other reading material. What kind of reading material could be newer than books that are still in their drafting stage?
5. Develop proofreading skills. For those of us who wish to go into any type of English-related field, whether teaching, publishing, or any field related to communication (which is more broad than you may think), proofreading even a few pages of a peer’s work can help you develop the editing skills you desire for future employment or your own writing needs. Plus, with your peer’s permission, the inclusion of an edited piece of work in your CV or writing/editing portfolio could give you an upper-hand in the job-market.
PLACES TO LOOK FOR WRITING GROUPS:
- Facebook Pages (such as 10 Minute Novelists or Writers Unite!)
- Friends of friends (local authors, English teachers, or bookstore associates may already be a part of or know of writing groups in the local community)
- Online Creative Writing Classes: check out BookFox Club’s list of 35 Writing Courses to Take During Coronavirus
*In all of your writing endeavors and in search of finding potential writing groups, please remember:
“O be wise; what can I say more?”Jacob 6:12, The Book of Mormon