I mentioned last week how friendships can develop from a writing group. Here are five more compelling reasons to join one:
#1. Your writing will improve. However good at self-editing, you’ll miss typos, repetitions, and even ways of doing things better if you work in a vacuum.
#2. Fresh ideas. My writing group is a broad church, covering sci-fi through to romance (there’s even one author who writes both). I’m not planning a switch from crime thrillers to fantasy any time soon, but I’ve learned about suspense, sentence structure and fashion from my fellow scribes.
#3. You’ll get practice at reading your fiction aloud. This not only winkles out typos, but is a stepping stone to reading your books in public. Live fiction events are fun, and a great way to reach out to readers.
#4. Expertise swaps. The technical aspects of publishing can be daunting – whether you want to do it yourself, or whether you’re looking for a traditional agent and publisher. As part of a supportive group, you’ll share expertise and contacts.
#5. Deadlines. Knowing the writing group meets tomorrow might just give you the impetus to finish that short story – or start it!
If in doubt, don’t delay – visit one or two groups (maybe even more) until you find the support that’s right for you. Good luck!
I’m a crime thriller writer with a particular focus on the buzzy British cities of London and Birmingham. I’m taking part in live fiction in Bristol and Birmingham soon. Both events are free and fun – do come along!