"Read widely, join a writing group."
I first joined Speakeasy writers group in Milton Keynes in 2008, and went on to start a whole new group in my local town of Towcester. I’m finding there are so many more benefits than I had originally hoped for in both groups.
Here are 5 reasons joining a writers' group will help your writing.
1. Writers Groups keep you disciplined
Many groups set you a theme to work on for the month or fortnight, however often they meet. This really helps me personally as not only does it give me a goal and a deadline, very often it tests me to try something new. A new genre, a random writing prompt, a poem... We have all sorts to pique the interest and develop our writers' styles in Towcester!
2. You will meet new people
Making friends is always good for the soul. I've got to know a lot of local people through my writers group who I might not ever have come across. It's really helped to me feel part of the community.
A writing club also gives you a chance to meet people from different walks of life and they may inadvertently give you ideas for characters. New people you meet can be great fodder for your writers brain, just be subtle about it.
3. You will probably discover new techniques and approaches which will challenge you
You will no doubt learn how other writers organise their writing day, gain new perspectives, you might be encourages to try something new, and could possibly gain some expertise from someone else's field (e.g. managing your social media as a writer, which magazines you should subscribe to). Above all, you can share tips and discoveries. This is invaluable.
4. Writing Groups give you insights into the minds of other readers and writers
As a writer, seeing a snapshot of how writers deal with different themes, genres, criticisms and praise can be very enlightening. You have a ready-made feedback panel who only want to support you. Remember, writers are also readers, so you have a ready made critique board sitting in front of you!
5. It’s fun.
I don't need to tell you what a great thing 'fun' can be in life!
Virtual or otherwise, writing groups are a fantastic resource every writer should make the most of. Check on the National Association of Writers Groups (NAWG) for your local group's details. Get out there!
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Image courtesy of Script Mag