On the benefits of writing groups

Hello good sir or good Madame. Today I wish to speak about my recent experience at the writing group I am a member of.

It has no name, and I like to think of it as alcoholics anonymus for writers…not because we all drink far more than is healthy I might add, instead, because we talk and talk and support each other more than we do any real substantive work.

Now your first instinct upon reading that might be ‘you go to the wrong group holmes’ or something similar and I may sometimes agree with you but not always. Yes it is more an excuse to get together with like minded people and talk than it is write for an hour once every two weeks but it certainly has it’s uses.

Firstly as a writer you should be writing daily, if you don’t believe me please refer to one of my earlier posts ‘So you want to be a writer?’ for further details. If a writing group is the only time you ever write then you are, in mine and everyone elses eyes, not a writer (sorry). 

Coming together and talking with other people who are passionate about writing has one massive benefit than sitting in a room quietly and writing cannot do and that is inspire you. Once every two weeks I have a chance to speak to other people, who, no matter how odd everyone else might think it is, take time out of their days to write because they enjoy it. When everyone else around you thinks you are wasting your time, that is when you really need fellow writers around you. 

This time however, the reason for me getting all excited about the writing group is a very important one. Over christmas I got into a slump and really didn’t write much, and up until my last visit to the writers group I only had one productive day of writing since Christmas. Every two weeks we are set an assignment of sorts, a prompt usually or a topic to write about. Remembering I had the group to go to (and wanting to go to see the friends I have made) I remembered there was a task at hand. I had to write something short for the prompt, this time it was to follow on from a line in a non fiction book creating a short story. The line was provided to us to see how different a path we would all take from the same starting point. 

It goes without saying of course that I then went about the work of finding a coffee shop, getting a very large mug of something hot and brown and doing some writing. For the frist time since Christmas I wrote a story, it wasn’t part of my big novel project but it was my writing, my prose and my fiction. Above all I enjoyed it and reminded myself why I ever wrote at all. Now I am back into the swing (almost) and am back to writing regularly and taking steps towards getting published once again.

So if you take one lesson away from this rambling blog post it is this, it is better to have written and forgotten you loved it, than to have never written at all. Nice people at writers groups will always be able to remind you that you love it.

Ja Ne.


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