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Writing Groups Yes or No?

  1. arrrgonaut profile image60
    arrrgonautposted 7 years ago

    Some people need support to keep their creativity flowing; some people view the writing process as private.  I'm really interested to see who here is for or against sharing work with a writer's group.

    And how do you find a writing group that really clicks with you?

    1. D. Gabrielle profile image61
      D. Gabrielleposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I love writing groups.  As for finding one that clicks...I'm just looking for one that actually participates.

    2. kartika damon profile image76
      kartika damonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I have been in some wonderful writing groups - I love the free writing groups based on the Natalie Goldberg model - I think you just have to try and see if you the chemistry of the group works for you - but I highly recommend trying to find a group is a fit!

      1. 60
        elizabethkattposted 7 years ago in reply to this
    3. coryclark profile image60
      coryclarkposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I love writing groups. Other writers give great advice.

    4. 0
      Royal Diademposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I thank a writing group is a good ideal.  Just think how we could help each other.  Great suggestion!

    5. 0
      Royal Diademposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I thank a writing group is a good ideal.  Just think how we could help each other.  Great suggestion!

  2. 0
    Crazdwriterposted 7 years ago

    I AM ALL FOR A WRITING GROUP!!!! Oh sorry was that in all caps. Just shows you that I am all for it. Soooo would join it!

  3. 0
    Crazdwriterposted 7 years ago

    Looks like we are the only ones sad

    1. arrrgonaut profile image60
      arrrgonautposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Sadly the response I expected.  I've been looking for a group in my area and it seems like writers hate meeting other writers with a passion.

      1. 0
        cosetteposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        well i'm a writer and you may be right. (speaking only for myself). i just don't dig writing groups all that much. or workshops, even. and i have no idea why.

        good luck though!

        1. kartika damon profile image76
          kartika damonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I haven't written much in the forums but I wanted to just jump in again to say how much I haved love my writing groups and why - please check out my hub on the subect! Joining a Writing Group
          I think there are so many great things that can come form them as I describe in detail here, but a "free writing" group based on the Natalie Goldberg method is great because you get to really let yourself go and contact the wild mind where all the juice resides! Kartika

  4. 0
    lynnechandlerposted 7 years ago

    Was actually a part of a large forum site and moderated several of the sub-forums and a crit group and then the site just kind of disappeared. They are trying it get it back together but not sure if it is going to be up and running any time soon.

    I would love to hear your ideas. Participation is a must.

  5. emievil profile image83
    emievilposted 7 years ago

    Sorry to ask. But what does a writing group actually do for its members and vice-versa?

    1. arrrgonaut profile image60
      arrrgonautposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      The type of writing group I'm looking for in my area would offer peer review more than anything.  It's not really for collaborative writing.  Groups allow people to come share whatever they are working on and get ideas from other writers on what they've done well and what can be improved.  Also writing groups can help some to become more prolific.  I know I'm much better at getting stuff written when I have a deadline.  A weekly group meeting may provide enough incentive to start or finish a draft. (I guess my version of a writer's group is essentially a workshop without the teacher.)

      I've also encountered some groups for people who write merely as a hobby just to have a place to share their work.

      I've never dealt with an online group, so I don't know how those communities opperate.  But I may consider joining one if I don't see more people in my town get off their...

      1. emievil profile image83
        emievilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Okay. One other question. If this is online, will it come for free?

        1. arrrgonaut profile image60
          arrrgonautposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I really was more interested in seeing what the community here thought about writers groups since I'm getting so frustrated trying to find locals in TN who write.  If someone wants to start a group online, that's not really my area of expertise.  But I would never pay to be part of a peer based group.

          1. emievil profile image83
            emievilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Okay. Sorry for being curious but this is the first time I've heard of a writing group online. Hubpages is not really a "writing" group per se but if you want some feedback on your writing, you can always ask.

  6. 0
    Crazdwriterposted 7 years ago

    Aaa sorry you can't find anything close to you arrrgonaut. Myself I would join but I am so darn shy it's hard for me. I'm afraid people would laugh at my work.

    1. Paradise7 profile image85
      Paradise7posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      You're shy?  Aw, I don't believe it.  No one would laugh unless you intended them to.  You have a wacky sense of humour that I've really, really enjoyed on the forums.


      As to the main question:  writing groups.  Hmmm.  I like book review groups but writing groups?  People can get really edgy and competetive, because people are REALLY SENSITIVE about their writing.  I understand that, our writing is our children, it's our babies we're talking about here, but for me, I would rather write than deal with personality issues.  Ya know what I mean? tongue

  7. rmcrayne profile image95
    rmcrayneposted 7 years ago

    I'm very lucky.  San Antonio has a large and active Writers Guild.  Weekly critique meetings, monthly business mtg, speaker and critique, monthly "write in", great website.

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      Crazdwriterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      and Sadly I couldn't really find anything out here in Anaheim...I looked like you suggested rmcrayne and nothing. sad

  8. patful profile image60
    patfulposted 7 years ago

    I've been in writers groups and I've been in "dialogues" (conversations, one-on-one, with other writers). For my money, the dialogue has been the biggest help.

    Let me explain why, because I acknowledge that there are "different strokes for different folks." Right now, I meet every Monday afternoon with a younger writer I met several years ago when I was a tech writer for the City of Miami. I mentored him in writing poetry and short stories--he has the ability to be eloquent in both Spanish AND English.

    In response, he has always been encouraging to me about my writing. Well, in this recent series of weekly get-togethers at a Starbucks, we talk about what we are each doing. (His day job is computer network troubleshooting and problem-solving.) We don't have a predetermined agenda, but as things have worked out, our conversations, sharing of books or observations or tips, have energized both of us. I may bring something I wrote for him to read; he does the same. Sometimes, we don't have any piece of writing, but we talk about our ideas for short stories or books.

    Beware of the writers group where the members are wannabes, who don't really write. They just feel superior because they attend a writers group. I would beware handing them writing samples, because they probably don't have the discernment to judge knowledgeably. On the other hand, writers who are just starting out and who are sincere in the effort, can be helpful in critiques, just as the "veterans" can be.

    Find one writer to talk to and take it from there. Who knows but in time, you'll find a third writer and a fourth to join you. But in the meantime, you will be profiting as a writer by sharing some time with another writer. Some of the best writing in English lit was done when the guys got together at the pub or the coffeehouse (see Shakespeare, Marlowe, etc. and Dryden, Pope, Addison and Steele). These writers weren't trying to copy each other, but they had a good effect on each other's productivity.

    1. arrrgonaut profile image60
      arrrgonautposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      That sounds like an interesting system.  I hadn't heard of a dialogue before.  I did consult with my thesis advisor one-on-one in college, but even though he is a published author and professional teacher, he didn't show any real interest in his students' work, and I ended up hating our meetings.

  9. Lisa HW profile image84
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    I'm the type who wouldn't join one.  I don't see what there would be talk about.  I don't happen to "not want to meet other writers", but I like to only hang out with people for who they are - not what they do for work or hobby.

    I don't have anything to re-hash about writing - my own or someone else's.  Once people know their grammar and either say what they want to say or else go out and find work, what else is there to say?  lol  I may not see writing as much a private thing, as a simple thing. - you sit down, you write, you move on to the next thing.  This isn't meant to insult anyone who finds some use in writer's groups (because I respect that we all think differently) ; but, to me, it just seems like people may use writing as an excuse to socialize (which is ok, and which is, I know, only my way of seeing it).

  10. Song-Bird profile image84
    Song-Birdposted 7 years ago

    I probably wouldn't join a writing group.  Too many opinions would boggle my mind.  I have considered meeting with a private mentor, who has been successful in writing, once my book was completed (or close to it).

  11. scarytaff profile image76
    scarytaffposted 7 years ago

    I've joined a couple of writing sites and I find the one for me is Webook.com  It's totally free. There you can publish your work, get free critiques from like minded writers, read other people's work and comment on it if you like. Try it out, you have nothing to lose and maybe a lot to gain. Go to my page if you want to see what it's all about, I'm called seatype on Webook.

  12. Lmoovbuff profile image59
    Lmoovbuffposted 7 years ago

    I would definitely join a writer's group. It would be fun, educational and would have a great establishment of networking!

  13. RedElf profile image85
    RedElfposted 7 years ago

    As long as it doesn't turn into a stitch and bitch (we have the forums for that, LOL). Also the other thing I have never cared for is the idea some people have that if the writer are newer than they (or not published, or well-known) that the work automatically needs "fixing". I saw that happen a lot to new playwrights when I worked in theater.

  14. cindyleedavis profile image60
    cindyleedavisposted 7 years ago

    Writing groups are great. It helps you to explore new ideas.
    It lets you listen too experience as it is happening.
    It allows you to see and hear about the steps you are dreaming about taking. It builds your confidence in what and how you write.
    There are many advantages to being in a writing group.
    You build relationships with other, learn about networking,
    about  (paying forward) A writing group is a great experience all around.

  15. .Ninna. profile image59
    .Ninna.posted 7 years ago

    I am part of a wonderful online writing community, http://www.onestopwriteshop.com/index.php . I found that being part of it helped build up my courage and confidence as a writer. I got very useful feedback and loads of encouragement and support from the members. I think being part of a writing group would depend on how open you are to feedback.

    If you're okay and willing to edit your work based on your group's feedback, go ahead and join one. You can get a lot of insight that ranges from the technical such as spelling and grammar to reading your piece from another's point of view, seeing how some parts may be vague or may be reason for misconception and the like. Sometimes others would suggest that you expound on your piece to get a tighter grasp of your message. I found being part of an online writing community very beneficial for me as a writer, I get the points of view from people around the world, and I get an idea of what they like or dislike about my writing, and I can improve on my writing skills from there. And I don't mean that I edit my writing to satisfy the readers, I edit my writing to improve my work so that my message comes across more clearly.

    1. 0
      \Brenda Scullyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      so is it free...... here in Ireland they want mega bucks to join anything

  16. .Ninna. profile image59
    .Ninna.posted 7 years ago

    There's free (trial) membership, but if you want more benefits such as more writes to post and the like, you can get the paid membership. I think the fees are pretty fair, not mega bucks. smile

  17. 0
    Janettaposted 7 years ago

    A good writing group will support its members, help them to grow as writers and teach them valuable tools for the future as well as provide a safe/encouraging place to show their work.

    Writing groups are great as long as it's a group in which you feel comfortable. For many, myself included, sharing some of our work is scary and often difficult. A group of likeminded individuals can help you to feel more secure in putting your work out there.

    Also, writing groups can be great resources. For example, they may include others to read your work and comment on it or to help you find issues or errors that need fixed or improved.

  18. 0
    domhain_12posted 7 years ago

    I helped get the writers in my home up and running and have since been nominated the official spokesperson for our group. I find it difficult not to be part of the writing group because we have established ourselves as a support group as well. We do not cohere to a guideline or model of what needs to be done or what a writers group needs to be about. We meet a couple of times per month and we discuss our writing. We learn from each other how we become better writers. We have one assignment we do each month that we read and discuss to improve our craft and admittedly, we have fun doing it. We come up with some creative assignments like writing outside of your genre, or write something in first person but be somebody else. Keeping it fun and relaxed is key to keeping members.

    I would most definitely recommend getting involved with a group. We have members that had no intention of writing, just wanted to check it out - and now write consistently, and are getting really good. And we have illustrators that just want to understand how a story functions to improve on what they do. The one commonality - we are like-minded folks just looking to connect with somebody.

    Our group is After Hour Authors and we can be found at http://afterhourauthors.org

  19. Lori J Mitchell profile image60
    Lori J Mitchellposted 7 years ago

    I would love to join one in my area.  I need a group or some sort of deadline with consequences.  I'm the Queen of Procrastination otherwise.

    1. Jackson Riddle profile image70
      Jackson Riddleposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      And I am King/Master as discussed in http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Do-Nothing however I too do try and write alot but would like to participate in some sort of group if it came up.

  20. forlan profile image61
    forlanposted 7 years ago

    I like join if there is a group.

  21. buckudo profile image60
    buckudoposted 7 years ago

    After being a part of some train wreck writing groups, I started a writing group in Tampa.  Here is what I learned: 
         1. If you have a standard that you expect other writers to adhere to, for instance, if you think anyone who wants to be a part of your group should be able to write a coherent sentence, then you must insist on writing samples being submitted as a requisite for joining the group. Otherwise you end up teaching writing, not critiquing writing, and not getting any critiques of value for your own writing. 
         2. Any genre is acceptable.
         3. The personalities of the authors must mesh. This is important on many levels because you have to be able to speak truthfully about the writing that another person has produced. You know yourself how your own writing feels like your child, and a cruel or harsh criticism of your thoughtfully produced, rewritten and agonized over words, can leave a seeping wound.
        4. You must have a submission schedule.  We had the writers submit no more than 5 pages to the other writers no later than Sunday for a Wednesday meeting.  We allowed 5 writers per week to submit to all the other writers. That allows you to get 25 pages of writing by Sunday that you must read and critique by Wednesday evening.  Pretty ambitious, but it serves an odd purpose - you begin getting these parts of stories that your fellow writers have entrusted to you to comment on, and you, in turn, feel motivated to submit something to them of equal quality.
    Can you see why it is important that the writers personalities mesh?
       5.The setting is important - the more intimate the better.

    Hope this is of some help.

  22. dave272727 profile image60
    dave272727posted 7 years ago

    I would go to a couple of meetings and feel out the group.  For the most part I keep my writing to myself until I feel like its ready to go out onto the internet.

  23. Hi-Jinks profile image61
    Hi-Jinksposted 7 years ago

    Writing Groups have their problems. If you want to grow as a writer, you will need to take some writing courses. Go to college and audit somes classes. It's cheaper.
    Writing is hard work. If you want to be a writer, you must, and I do mean must write everyday. Try 500 to 1000 words, that 2-4 pages.
    Write anything at all.
    Here's one, write an opinion piece for your paper and get it published. Bang, your first clip.
    Early success can be contagious.
    Good luck.

  24. Gordon Hamilton profile image98
    Gordon Hamiltonposted 7 years ago

    I think quite simply that writing groups suit some writers and not others. I remember visiting one over twenty years ago - long before Internet days - and found it to be a very supportive community of entirely different types of writers. There were aspiring poets, novelists, jouranlists and more, all sharing their experiences of writing - good and bad - and offering one another support and advice in the process.

    Unfortunately, it was not possible for me to join, already having committments on the one night they met each week, but I took a lot from that one-off experience.

    I do not at any time subscribe to the fact that writers should waste their time and their money taking writing courses. The technical aspects of writing are learned at an early age and thereafter it is up to natural talent to kick in and life experiences to shape one's craft. "Classroom" writing is staid, boring and almost certain to fail in a commercial sense. Quality writing comes from within. Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Dickens, Wordsworth - none of them attended a writing class!

    Writing groups are therefore good for lending support - writing "classes" are a very different kettle of fish.

  25. Hi-Jinks profile image61
    Hi-Jinksposted 7 years ago

    "Classroom" writing is staid, boring and almost certain to fail in a commercial sense. Quality writing comes from within. Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Dickens, Wordsworth - none of them attended a writing class!

    While writing with quill and typewriter is fine. In this modern age where nearly everyone has a PC and the internet is universal, the situation has changed. I have found writing classes full of motivated students. The writer's groups tend to be populated with wan-to-bes who don't read and haven't found their pen or PC passwords in months.
    The trick is to find the right teacher. Makes all the different.

  26. Fuzsion profile image61
    Fuzsionposted 7 years ago

    I think writing groups are a plus. There can be benefits to it. I am in the process of starting a writing workshop in my neighborhood. It's mostly to brainstorm, helping to develop ideas and motivate those who think they can't write. Writing groups might not be for everyone. "Preference" By the way, I just published my first Christian Romance novel. It is called Inseparable.

  27. azraelsbane profile image61
    azraelsbaneposted 7 years ago

    I love the idea of a writing group, but my past experiences haven't been positive. There are a lot of writing groups where I live, but the problem is it's hard to find contemporaries. For instance, I was over 20 years younger than the next oldest person in any of the writing groups I joined.

    I have nothing against people who are older, but they tended to be more the biography, mainstream fiction type, and I am more of a fantasy/slipstream person. smile 

    Although honestly, I think I'm just still angry about being told  at one of the meetings that I could not use the word hobo, because it was too dated. I must be a very old 26, because I still use the word hobo sometimes :p

    1. Hi-Jinks profile image61
      Hi-Jinksposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I was told that "Tush" was inappropriate.
      Where I live people take on the personility of where they live, so these 'writers' already don't like non-christians, non-whites, non-straights, and like them non-smart.

  28. pioneer_writer5 profile image62
    pioneer_writer5posted 7 years ago

    I am not much of a writer, but I have attended  writing workshops offered at the Public library. There was an interchange of ideas. Just speaking and listening to other writers opened my mind to different ideas and broadened my horizon's-- so to speak. Much of what is written is drawn out of the world of the writer. So we try to increase our range of experiences. I see this as one way of doing this. Thus sharpening, adding color, and defining what we write.
    I would be willing to join an online writing group.

  29. AdeleCosgroveBray profile image89
    AdeleCosgroveBrayposted 7 years ago

    I would recommend anyone with an interest in creative writing to join a local writing class or group; and if there isn't one already, start one yourself.

    Writing groups are as varied as the members that make them up, so if one group isn't to your taste simply go somewhere else. 

    Personally I prefer actual groups rather than online groups, but other people's choices are their own to make, of course.

    I've been with Riverside Writers now for around seven years, and have chaired the meetings since 2003.  We have speakers, workshops and public performances.  Our members consist of published authors and people who write purely for fun, and we're open to writers of all genres.  Each month, we have a group project which helps keep the emphasis on writing rather than just talking about writing.  This also gives the meetings focus and can be a lot of fun.

    So, instead of wondering whether to join a writers group, I encourage you to go ahead and join one.  If you don't like it, you can easily leave again! smile

  30. LRobbins profile image79
    LRobbinsposted 6 years ago

    I find the idea of a writing group intriguing, but I think it would depend more on what the goals of the actual writing group were.  I love the idea of peer review but would be afraid of "know it all" types.  It would also have to be a group that I connected with since sharing your writing is a scary thing.