The Benefits of Writing Groups
I got my MA in May 2015. In one of my last classes, my professor said, “In three years sixty to seventy percent of you won’t be writing.” He went on to say that while you’re in school, it’s easy to write. You have assignments and people directing you to write. Once you graduate, you’re on your own.
If you are a freelance writer, or a tech writer as a profession, it may be easier. However, you’re writing for your job and these topics may not be what you really want to write. You get busy with work, life, family, etc. While the first few months can be filled with excitement and lots of good writing, after a while it might get hard.
How do you stay the course?
For me, a writing group saves the day. Even last year, when I was dealing with all the stress, I still managed to write something. Going to regular meetings says that I am making writing a priority. I’m carving out time every month to meet with other writers and discuss our work (and let’s be honest life stuff too). It’s a great supportive system that can motivate you to keep working and submitting. All our wins are celebrated and you have people who understand when you have set backs.
A writing group has kept me working, when it was very easy to stop. Every year has it own challenges. Whether it was moving, getting out of debt, dealing with health stuff, you name it the world has thrown it all at me (and keeps chucking more my way). It is very easy to say, “Writing can wait, I have more pressing things to do.” Having a group keeps me motivated. And I’m sure everyone else in my group feels the same way.
The best way to find a group is to go to places where writers congregate. Check out local community writing centers, writing societies, and on-line groups (I like Facebook groups.) to find people. Most likely, someone is looking for you too. It only takes two to start the group.