Writing groups provide the “Best way to learn to choose what feedback is important.”
What do I mean by this?
Well, let me start with a little writer’s community gossip. There’s a story going around that Hans Christian Andersen fell on his face and sobbed from getting critical feedback about his writing. (I’ve been there, he’s not alone.) What’s amazing is that now his writing is a huge part of our culture. He wrote: The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina the list goes on. The point here is, sometimes people are wrong about your writing. At the same time some feedback is worth keeping and tucking into your back pocket for both your current work and futures pieces. That doesn’t mean some feedback is invaluable.
All feedback has value in some way.
It’s valuable because giving and receiving feedback can help you develop connections with other writers. Coming to an understanding feels good. Feels like you accomplished being heard. On top of that, your feedback may not help the writer you’re speaking directly to, it can also help those around that are listening. Which is the point! The learn and grow as writers as a community.
I was always nervous when I attended writing groups. I still get nervous attending new writing groups. It took me years to find my own little bubble of confidence. It also took reading a lot of books and philosophers. Something about philosophers trying to get their theories heard helped me feel better as writer. I’m also very interested in philosophy so it’s a double motivator.
Check out my post on instagram where fellow writers shared their thoughts and experiences when it comes to writing groups.
I’m going to go over the conversation starters over the next week. I think we can keep working on this subject and keep developing some really great ideas for writers. It’s important to have solitude while you write and think and create, but it’s equally important to include others on your journey. This is how we learn and grow as humans. It took me a long time to find a good balance. I was 100% for having people around as much as possible. I was always with friends and family. Always out being busy and didn’t say no very often at all. And then…. I stopped all of that. I spent years saying no to everything. I stopped talking to people. I isolated quite a bit. But I think it was important for me to do that at that time in my life. I was exhausted and healing from burnout. So now that I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum, my focus is to be intentional about my time. If I’m going to say yes to something, I want to be fully engaged. This is where writing groups come in. Writing and writers bring me joy. They help me and those around me become even better writers and at the same time, better people. This is something I want to be intentional about.
So I’d like to dig in a tad bit more about writing groups.
I’ve been talking about writing groups for a couple days now so I thought tonight would be a good night to share another writers input on writing groups. Author Joani Elliott says something I love. She says,”Writing can be a lonely endeavor and a good writing group can help provide needed strength, feedback and perspective to be successful.” !! I’ve added her link to this post. She shared a wealth of information in that article so make sure you go check it out.
My first writing group, I was so nervous. After the first meeting I left with more confidence in myself. After meeting for several months, I left excited to be a part of a group with such gifted writers. It helped me to shift from looking mostly at myself to truly admiring the artists and creators around me.
Tomorrow I’d like to hear more about your experience with writing groups.
There are a lot of different kinds of writing groups. Some groups are meant to workshop your manuscripts, some are meant to share poetry, some are informative sessions with author talks, and then there are the amazing story slams. Those seem pretty fun. Today, we even have online platforms where virtual writing groups can come together and really have a positive impact on each other’s progress and success. Of all these, I have not been to a story slam. I’ve enjoyed them all in different ways but my favorite is where we workshop our books together.
No matter what type of group, I feel the most important thing I bring is inspiring writers to keep writing. Plot hole? Who cares, keep writing. Too esoteric? Who cares, keep writing. Best book the group has ever read? Who cares, keep writing. That is what I bring and that’s what I always want to bring. The great thing about writing groups is that everyone brings something different. I also like to allow them to see how they can build on their strengths. Someone else may be amazing at the technical stuff, and that’s great. Someone else dialogue. And someone else world-building! (That seems to be my weakness). Learning to give and receive in these groups can be one of the most beneficial things you can do as a writer.
Hello writers! I’m just over here getting ready for our Wednesday lunch date!! 😁😁😁
You can join the conversation on IG @Jayne_press For June, My goal is to inspire some conversation in comments section.
In case you didn’t take the time to slide left or right yet, I’ll explain. One picture is the Lunch date info. The other is just some different things you can share and chat about in the comments on Wednesday. These aren’t meant to limit conversation just giving us a place to start.
I’ve decided to plan Lunch chats at 12pm est with fellow writers on Instagram. I was inspired by my latest post, Writing Groups and made that the first topic we’ll chat about. I’m excited to learn about how other writers feel an think about writing groups. Were the writing groups you joined good or hindering? I think Writing Groups can become a big topic but you know what they say, we gotta start somewhere.
I wanted to make sure I invited my entire writing community from IG ➡️ WordPress.
Look out for my posts starting at 12pm this Wednesday and join me for a chat in the comments @jayne_Press
I mostly appreciate the quote because it’s from Michael Jordan. I forget about the failures it took when I see people as successful as him. He had to make some pretty silly mistakes too. We’re human, we’re supposed to.
Writing groups are one of the greatest things I could be part of as a writer. As a psych major I’m always interested in seeing the bloom and grow and seeing how diverse writers influence each others craft. It feels good to be in a safe place among other’s who share the same medium. Writing groups give writers several things, a safe space to share thoughts and ideas, a safe place to receive feedback, the ability to learn and grow, and connection. Writing is solitary. You see the world from your own eyes, you pull the memories from your own brain, and you write the words in your own unique way. So being part of writing groups helps you see perspectives outside your own. Maybe in some ways other writers may validate you. Maybe in others they’ll pull you out of the plot hole you’ve buried yourself into.
If you haven’t join a writing group as a writer, what are you waiting for? Find the nearest writing group and dig in!
How about you? What was your experience with writing groups? Good? Bad? Great? I wanna know.
I put a lot of stuff off and now that I’ve freed up some space, I’m just feeling flooded with all the things I’m eager to do. I don’t want to burn myself out and I always like to remind myself that finding ways to play while I work is the absolute best way for me to avoid burnout. So these next couple weeks I’m going to remind myself to feel things out. Writing times, gym plans, business development, all if it. There’s a lot I want to do but when it comes to the things I truly want to succeed at, I want to take my time and do them right the first time. (Well, try my best to do them right. ) So this is a reminder to myself:
“One thing at a time. You are a hard worker. You’re reliable and and trustworthy. The things you’re interested add flavor to your accomplishments. You already know what you want, that’s half the work.”
In all my years of life, I’ve never been so committed to something outside of people like I am to writing. It’s not really writing per se but it is the develop that comes with it. I think writing is one of the most valuable tools we have as a species. I helps us in many ways but most importantly it helps us to better connect.
My darkest moments were writers hold me up and getting me going just one more day. I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve learned a lot about myself and those around me. I had my fair share of existential crises and days when the sky seemed bluer than normal. But at the end of the day, I’m not really sure where I’d be without my writing. Maybe I’d be in the same place I am now? Maybe I’d be less confident and less apt to share my vulnerabilities either way writing has changed me and I can only hope that my writing does the same for others.