Most writers spend the majority of their working time solo – and they tend to like it that way. Writing is by definition an independent endeavour and clocking those long hours alone at the desk is typically where the magic truly happens.
That being said, there also comes a time when the support and feedback of other creative people, who understand what you’re going through, has an important role to play. Writing groups and associations have long provided a network, professional community, and a source of inspiration for those who are passionate about the written word.
Regardless of where you are in your writing career, or even if writing is just a hobby you pursue in your free time, having a support system is crucial. Here are a few other benefits that writers’ groups and associations have to offer.
Feedback you can trust
Every writer needs to have a group of readers that they can rely on to provide meaningful feedback. Revision is the only way to produce truly impactful work and that means exposing one’s effort to critique in order to improve it. Writing groups can be a fantastic way of getting unbiased commentary from people who speak the “writer language” and can appreciate the direction in which you’re trying to push your work.
A team of accountability buddies
As any wordsmith is well aware, the struggle to stick to your writing goals is real. Being part of a group or association means you have people to help hold you accountable and also commiserate with when the going gets tough. Procrastination is a lot less likely to get the better of you if you’ve got a group to answer to.
Writing tips and tricks
Speaking of avoiding procrastination, having a network of other writers that you can call on any time of the day (or night), means that you have access to a whole bevy of writing resources. Everyone has their own specialty or area of focus, so by joining forces with others to share experience and provide thoughtful advice, you’ll each be able to benefit from the exchange of ideas and produce more astutely crafted work.
A network of support that will stick with you
In addition to providing one another with encouragement or support when the words just aren’t flowing, a writing group will serve as your own professional network at every stage of the writing and publishing process. Writing associations tend to produce quick bonds and friendships that have serious lasting power. This is important not just as a source of support for the day-to-day aspects of writing but will also mean you have a whole crew standing at your back when it comes time to publish or take the next step with your writing.
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