Getting together to write: the benefit of joining a writer’s circle

Support and inspiration through a writer’s circle

How do you find inspiration or support for your writing?

By googling reading and writing groups in my new local area, I found that there was a thriving community of writers – there are two groups available nearby and I went to my first meeting last Saturday.

I have never been to a writers circle before that wasn’t part of a University programme.   And it felt like a daunting endeavour to walk into a room where the group is well established.  I have attended many (not writing circles, I might add!) that have held their elbows high against new people joining.  It’s human nature.  But I was delighted by the welcome I received from the group.  I couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome!

It is important to have support, if you are a writer.  Writing is a solitary task in general. It is an independent bubble and yet, the whole point of writing is to communicate with others (unless you are writing a personal journal, of course!).  For most of the writers that I have spoken to, whether they are hobbyists or whether they want  to be published, they want their work to be read.

Needing to share

I want my writing to be read.  Blogging is a fantastic platform for writers of all genres.  I read more writing on blogs now than I do anywhere else.  I want to know what other people are saying; and the variety of writing, of opinion, on blog sites has opened my once closed mind!  Freshlypressed is certainly worth a look as it can bring ideas to the fore that you may not have thought interested you.  And I certainly read more poetry on here than anywhere else!

But I wanted to talk too.  About my writing, about other people’s writing and I need the feedback that a writing group can offer.  The instant ‘feel good’ factor of applause when you read out your work or the opinions of others who can tell you how your work has been received.  And, as all of us come from different walks of life, and bring different experiences to each group, everybody can add something to our writing.

Is it the right fit?

Workshopping your writing can be very scary.  You can feel extremely vulnerable as all writing is personal.  And so finding a group that supports your work sensitively is important.

If you are looking for a group, it is worth bearing in mind that all groups are different and in the same way you would try on a party dress (or tux) for a big night out, and find not all of those you like are the right fit, you need to find a group that suits your needs and personality.

The group that I attended spent some time writing, some time sharing what they had written and a lot of time discussing issues that arose from the writing.  I didn’t write anything great – I think newbie anxiety got the better of me – but I could feel my neurons igniting with the in-depth discussions!

The next meeting is not until January and I can’t wait!

If you are looking for a group, try a google search for writers’ groups in your area or ask at your local library.

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