*** Originally written for The Odyssey Online in 2017 . ***
The very title of this post probably has some of you cringing. Join a writing group? Where I actually have to let others read my writing, or worse yet, read my writing out loud to people who might not like it? Shiver. I could never!
Ah, but you can—and you should! I have belonged to a writing critique group for around nine years and have been moderating that group for at least four. During this time, I have learned a great deal from my fellow group members. Without further ado, here are some reasons you should seek out a critique group—and, you know, actually go to the meetings. 😀
We all know writers love to procrastinate. Attending a writing group will force you to produce consistently.
2. You Will Learn How to Take Criticism.
As a writer, learning to take criticism is a must. We often don’t see the flaws in our own work, so other people need to point them out for us. Helpful group members will be respectful but honest about your work and you will grow accustomed to receiving real feedback.
Nothing fuels inspiration like reading or listening to other people’s work, which is what you will be doing in a writing group.
Writing can be a lonely craft. Meeting other writers will get you out of your own head and you may even make new friends, or meet people who work in other fields related to writing, such as editors or publishers.
Critiquing other people’s writing will help hone your own editing skills, which will make you a better writer. Win/win situation.
So where can you find a writing group? Your local library or college are usually good places to start. So get up and get going! You owe it to yourself!