Writing can be a lonely vocation. By design you spend a lot of your time by yourself, staring at computer monitor. One of the ways to alleviate this problem is to join or start a writers group.
About Writing has an interesting article on the ways to find writers for such a group. They suggest finding writers through classes you attend, writing conference, writing organizations or by placing online ads.
Those are all good suggestions. But, to us, this seems overly complicated. There are probably more writers than you think among your friends and acquaintances. Reach out to them. You’ll be surprised by how open they are to the idea. And even as little as three or four people is enough to start a writers group. If the writers group is good, trust us, it will grow.
And, remember, the purpose of a writing group isn’t only critiquing each other’s work. It’s also about building support and camaraderie between fellow writers. Sometimes the critiquing can lead to factions within a group, and become ultimately disrupting.
We’ve found that one of the ways to avoid this is to build a “venting section” into your meetings. A period at the beginning or end of each meeting in which members can discuss problems they’re having in their writing life. You can cover everything from dealing with editors and agents to problems your writing is creating among your family or friends.
Such an addition to your meetings can help create stronger bonds within the group, and make it a more positive experience for all involved.
So consider starting a writers group this year. You’ll have a lot of fun and it will give you a whole new outlook on the world of writing and writers.