I personally don’t have much experience with writing groups. I write alone. When I’m having some fun with fiction, my characters keep me company, but I have never work shopped any fiction.
Despite not having experience with a writing group, I do know that having the right writing group can be a very positive change in a writer’s life. I will be linking you to a writer who has had group experiences and wrote about them to share with us! First things first though – why write within a group? This page features a handy list of reasons why you might want to join a writing group.
If you are interested in joining or starting a writing group, I would advise you to check out all of Krystina Pecorari -McBride’s page, and then do some research on your own.
What should you look for in fellow group members?
What should you avoid?
What is the perfect number for a group?
What should be the guidelines on critiquing,
How do you deal when someone stops giving constructive criticism and starts reliving how they felt about their Significant Other flaking out on them all over your work?!
When I first started doing research on the topics to write about, I saw that being part of a writing group was looked upon favorably. The writer that I was reading shared an online group with his readers, that I had never heard of. I entered it into good ole Google and the first link I saw was “[said writing group] ruined my life” I clicked on it and there were many other links that explained the story. The last link was advice on how to gather evidence for their lawyer! As wonderful as they can be, writing groups are NOT for everyone.
So with the no experience with groups that I have, the pinch of advice that I can give you is to use your noggin (brain)! You want to bring good things to your writing. That does not necessarily mean you’re going to try to find a group that only massages your ego. Sometimes criticism hurts, well – most times, but if the criticism will help your words, then it will help after it hurts for a moment. On the other hand, don’t be anyone’s punching bag. That is not right.
If you feel that joining a writer’s group is for you – go for it!