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The Professional Writing Academy Shares 7 Reasons To Join A Writing Group

Writing is often seen as a solitary pursuit, but a growing number of people are exploring and experiencing with the benefits of writing together.  

Here, some writers and facilitators featured in the Professional Writing Academy’s Running Writing Groups course explain the value of a joining a writing group or workshop.

GROUPS PROVIDE A CHALLENGE

‘The energy is there, and there’s also the sense of being led, having the prompts given to you and not knowing what they are. There’s that feeling of challenge, really, and suddenly something will appear and you’ll have no idea what will happen. Sometimes in a group we’ll do character development, and after about half an hour we’ll all take a break to look at these amazing characters that have walked into the room with us. That’s part of the energy that writing in a group gives you.’

Sarah Salway, novelist and poet

EXPLORING TOGETHER PROMPTS FRESH IDEAS

‘I think there’s a huge privilege in sharing in a group, a huge privilege, and when people are listening to each other you really enable that first piece of writing to grow, and you explore together. You can explore quite difficult and even disturbing ideas together, and there’s a safety in that as well. I love the differences in people and their work as well as the similarities, and I always find it quite exciting when you put one writing prompt down, and you get so many different and brilliantly exciting ideas. It keeps you refreshed, hearing other people’s ideas.’

Angela Stoner, poet and storyteller

WORKING WITH OTHERS PROVIDES NEW PERSPECTIVES

‘The first thing that comes to mind is just hearing other voices. Our own perspective is always limited, even though we count on it to guide us. It’s way too limited, so it can tend to get us stuck as well. When there are other voices in the room, and you hear someone say ‘I was thinking of doing this’, or ‘I discovered this’, it can really resonate with something inside you. It’s beautiful that it deepens and broadens what we know to be possible. That’s the one thing. The other most important thing is the sense of community. Not only in the sense that you’re not alone, but working, creating and learning together.’  

Reinekke Lengelle, poet, writer, visiting graduate professor and researcher

People could come to a group if they’ve lost energy in their writing, haven’t written in years and are beginning again, or even they’ve never written at all.Penny Shuttle

WRITING IN A GROUP BUILDS CONFIDENCE

‘I think it comes down to two things. One is that it helps to build participants’ confidence. When they come out of that individual writing place they might have at home, or somewhere else, they discover that there are other people like them who share their enthusiasm. No matter what kind of writing they do, or what level they’re at with it, they seem to get huge enjoyment and motivation from being amongst the community of other people.’

Jane Moss, writer and group facilitator

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Listen to an interview with Susannah Marriott of the Professional Writing Academy on the importance of investing in yourself as a writer.  

WriteClubThePodcast.com discuss what creating a writing club group has done for them, along with an interview with Susannah Marriott of the Professional Writing Academy.

10 Reasons To Join A Local Writing Group

Thinking about joining a local writing group or club but are not sure if it’s a good idea? No matter where you may be on your writing journey you may be surprised at what results can happen when you join writer’s groups that meet in person.

Here are 10 Reasons Why You Should Join a Local Writing Group:

1.Motivation

Knowing that you will be meeting with other writers and have the opportunity to share your work will motivate you to write during the week and to bring your best to the table.

2. Inspiration

You will have the opportunity to read what others have wrote, ask them questions, share ideas and brainstorm. You will gain a great deal of inspiration when you have the opportunity to carry out these activities on a regular basis with other writers.

3. Gives you Time to Write

Life is so busy and often writers find that they put off writing in order to complete more pressing matters throughout the week. However, being part of a structured writing group will provide you with the time you need each week to work on your projects and meet your writing goals.

4. Provides you with Constructive Criticism

You will have an opportunity to share your work with others and get feedback from them. By having a group of other writers look objectively at your work and offer their honest opinions, advice and feedback you will be able to see where your strengths and weaknesses lay. This will provide you with the information you need to hone your skill and improve overall as a writer.

5. Offers You Guidance

When you run into writers block, can’t figure out how to move your story from point A to point B or can’t choose between two possible endings you always have a place to turn. By asking various members of your writing group they will provide you with the guidance you need to write your best possible story.

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4 Benefits Of Joining A Writing Group

At the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference (starting next week!), we’ll hear from authors, agents, editors, screenwriters and all manner of other writerly experts about strategies for finishing your book, getting published, building your platform, learning new skills and more!

One session that I’m particularly looking forward to is the panel 4,3,2,1 Finding Balance through a Writing Group, in which a thriving writing group will discuss the benefits of working together on writing projects. Featuring the wisdom of Kimmery Martin, Bess Kercher, Trish Rohr and Tracy Curtis, this high-energy session will show attendees how the power of connection can propel your writing career, and the role a writing group can play in your journey. Knee deep in the genres of women’s fiction, creative nonfiction, middle grade fiction, and humor, these four engaging women will lay bare their ups and downs on the path to publishing, with concrete advice on how to find, nurture, and benefit from a writing group.

In advance of the session, I asked each one of the panelists to share their favorite thing or something they’ve learned as a part of this close-knit group.

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