The Benefits of Writing Groups

ME GBS Koinonia (2)By Teena Myers

Finding a writing group that is a suitable fit can be a challenge. I spent years in a secular writing group that did not know how to help me with Christian writing. An author at a book festival told me about a Christian group. I made the two-hour round trip for years. Until a door opened to start a writing group in a Christian bookstore.

My experience in the other groups were a mix of good and bad. If you can find a group that is a good fit, the benefits of fellowship, feedback and encouragement outweigh the bad.

Fellowship with like-minded people is important in almost everything we do. People who write spend hours alone with their thoughts and computer. Family and friends can be supportive. But they may not understand your passion and frustrations.

Writers need feedback from other writers. One editor I hired returned chapters with highlighted paragraphs, and a side note: “I know this is clear to you, but I don’t understand what you are trying to communicate.” Usually, a few sentences or words resolved the problem. Professional editors are expensive, which makes a writing group willing to mark typos, missed words, and lack of clarity beneficial.

There are mountains called frustration in publishing. I went through numerous editors before I paid a professional and had problems with the professional. Then you face multiple rejections from agents and publishers. Self-publishing is quicker but the author must do everything from editing, book design and marketing or hire someone to do it for them. Belonging to a writing group offers the encouragement of knowing you are not alone.

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