Writing Groups

They always say “Join writing groups”. When I started out, I was skeptical.  After all, my voice is my voice.  Could other people perfect it?  But, ‘they’ always say to join writing groups … So …Writing pictures

There are quite a few groups where I live and work, and I’ve been lucky to find a couple that I really like.  Having found them, I’m learning their value.  First off, listening to other voices makes one’s own voice stronger, better.  At risk of being obscure, it’s a little like the bracing that keeps the soundboard of a guitar from warping.  In a fine instrument, the luthier shapes the bracing by shaving away parts that are unnecessary, leaving the soundboard as strong as it was before the shaping but more responsive … clearer sounding.  That’s what a writing group does, at least for me.  Torturing the musical simile a little more, having a good writer look at your own stuff is a little like listening to covers of a song you know well done by other musicians.  You always love the original, but the covers broaden your horizons.

3 thoughts on “Writing Groups

  1. Here’s the key phrase in your post: …having a good writer look at your own stuff…. I’ve joined two groups and left two groups because there wasn’t someone better than I was to look at my stuff.

    That’s not a knock on anyone or an attempt to puff myself up. But if we’re going to listen to other voices, we need to choose those voices carefully. Just because someone’s been in a group for three years and I’ve been there three weeks doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the better writer. And it can be hard to judge such things in the beginning, because we don’t really know where we’re at in the process of learning to write.

    Absent local groups I felt worth the time (and time IS the issue, with full-time work and other life responsibilities to contend with), I found some great substitutes online. For one thing, just posting a piece of writing to my blog every, single week was important. If one piece got more readers than others, I’d analyze it. Was it the topic? How was it written? Had I done something differently? And so on.

    I’ve found some terrific nuts-and-bolts blogs, too, like a grammar blog that provides not only information but exercises. Words are my tools, and if I’m going to use them to craft meaning, I need to understand them.

    So, I agree completely that we need those other voices, with the caveat that not just any voice will do!

  2. Very usefull blog I must say. The you say are generally right, but I do not agree on everything you .
    I will back to see what else you have to say and what the reaction of other people on your blog is. Keep up the good work.

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