While writing is a solitary activity, there are many aspects of the process that can be enhanced by finding the right writing group. I’m not telling you anything new here, but maybe you aren’t sure where to begin. That’s where I hope to help.
There are three things you must figure out before you find your right writing group:
- Where are the writing groups?
- Who are the right people to be in my writing group?
- What am I going to do with my writing group?
Today I will address the first question (come back next week for question 2).
Where Are The Writing Groups?
Before you think you have to start your own writing group (I will write a later post on what this entails) and do all the leg work to get it up and running, stop for a moment to see if that job has already been done for you. Lots of writers are already gathering, and many groups are open to new members. The trick is finding out where they are hiding. Here are some prime locations to check:
If you are a student, this is the first place you should check. Go see the head of the English department to see if your school has a writing group that meets regularly. If they don’t know, check with the person in charge of Student Activities. Even if you are not a student, the local college may have a student writing group that is open to the community. Check the school’s website to see if there are any postings.
Writers are booklovers, so if you see books, chances are there is a writer lurking about. I know I am in my local Barnes & Noble on a near-daily basis, and my writing group meets in my local branch of library every single week. Talk to the manager of your local bookstore to see if there are regular meetings, and pick the brain of your librarian about the same. In the case of NYPL (New York Public Library), any events I hold in a library must be open to the public, so our write-ins are also posted on the library’s website.
While I want you to reap the benefits of some in-person, face-to-face writer-to-writer time, I know that is not always realistic. I began my own writing journey with online groups, so please, search the web if nothing else appeals to you right now. Twitter is a gold mine of writer comraderie. Just a couple of hashtags to follow to find writers are #amwriting #amediting #wordmongering. Two of my current favorite writing groups online can be found chatting around #StoryDam (lots more about them soon!) and, my latest group of cool peeps #10MinNovelists. And in November, be ready for #NaNoWriMo to flood your feed with writing inspiration.
Meetup.com is where I found – and continue to host – my writing group. I joined meetup.com to find a local book club (see above, re: writers are booklovers), I had no idea it would lead me to one of the most important groups of my life. Meetup.com is a website for groups to organize their members and events. When you join you enter your location and your interests, and meetup will let you know what groups match up with you.
Your assignment begins – go find your people! Or… at least find some writing people that are gathering that you can meet with. Next week we’ll figure out how to determine if the people you found are the right people for your writing group. It’s ok to be picky here, beacuse finding the right people is that wonderful!
Before you go… leave a comment!
Have you already found a writing group?
If so, tell us where you found them!
If not, what is the thing that’s been holding you back?