5 Reasons Why Writing Groups Are Awesome
3rd October 2018
Have you always wanted to write? To just sit at your desk and let your thoughts flow through your fingers onto your laptop screen? To relish seeing the magic of your creativity come to life and anticipate the joy it will bring to others? If only it was that easy.
Ideas come to a standstill, messages get lost, grammar is sometimes confusing, and writing itself is such a solitary activity. This is where writing groups can help. Being with fellow writers who understand your challenges can do wonders for your work and your morale. They can provide motivation, inspiration, help with editing, and be your writer companion over a few beers. Below are five reasons why I think writing groups are awesome.
It’s difficult to see the flaws in your own work, especially because writing can be so personal. You already invested a lot of yourself in your writing—your thoughts, your opinions, your style, your voice, and your time. You are bearing your talent to the world and you do not do it lightly. However, getting feedback—no matter how daunting—is invaluable. It’s a different perspective on your work and an objective view. Feedback from a writing group differs from friends and family in that there are no biased compliments. Instead, a writing group should provide honest detached constructive criticism that should help you to take actions to improve your work. They give you a view from the reader’s perspective and real insight into how your writing is being interpreted. They can help point out weak points and strengths in your writing, giving you honest specific feedback that is helpful. Their feedback will make you a stronger person, able to accept your flaws and address them. You’ll learn to challenge yourself, which is the only way writers—and any other professionals—can grow.
2. Being Critical and Constructive
Being part of a writing group means getting feedback as well as providing feedback. This means reading other people’s work and helping to make it better. You look at the whole of someone’s writing as well as every word. You identify the inconsistencies of ideas and messages, spot grammatical errors, and see what works and what doesn’t. This critical and constructive process not only helps other writers but is advantageous to your own writing. You apply what you have learned to your own work to improve it, seeing your mistakes and setting aside your personal attachment.
3. A Resource
Joining a writing group provides exposure to a variety of writing styles that are brought to the group. You get firsthand insight into different tones, voices, and motives, as well as a broader understanding of what works and what doesn’t from receiving group feedback. You’ll see new trends and discover reader interests. The diversity of the group brings with it networking opportunities and also insight into how other writers find work. All this can help you land your first or next job.
4. Productive Peer Pressure
While I do not like peer pressure when it comes to how much I can drink, or whether or not I should smoke, peer pressure from a writing group that nudges me to produce something is welcome. Sometimes writing can be a chore. It can be difficult, especially if I’m lacking in inspiration, and full of frustration, or just plain procrastinating. Sometimes the latest Instagram posts just take up a lot of time. Whatever the excuse, knowing I need to have some writing to show the group, encourages me to stay on track. It helps me become disciplined. Although writing holds a lot of love, it is also a craft. It needs to be worked on, it needs to be re-written, and it needs developing. The peer pressure helps get you through the mundane element, making you accountable, reliable, and responsible for the production of content.
Joining a writing group provides support in so many ways, from feedback to being a resource to getting and receiving encouragement. Yet, in so many ways it can be a lot more. The time invested in the group and the time the group invests in you can transform the group into a community where each person is respected and valued. Writing no longer needs to be a solitary act behind a lone laptop. A writing group can provide inspiration by helping you explore different ideas or sharing the motivations behind their enjoyment of writing. Above all else, they provide friendship and understanding built upon shared experiences, insecurities, and successes. The writing group becomes a safe haven where you can explore the highs and lows of the writing process together.
With all the benefits of a writing group, there’s little reason not to join one. The Content Castle is something similar to a writing group in that it brings aspiring writers together. The writers get real work experience writing real content that will be used by real companies. The work gets edited and support from colleagues in the shared workspace is readily available.
Joining the Content Castle brings with it one major advantage over writing groups in your hometown. Located on the island of Koh Samui, the Content Castle has views of the sea and tropical trees. Although an inspirational space, the continual warm weather and exotic food, waterfalls, and scuba diving adventures may add to the list of distractions. As hard as it may be to stay focused, I can’t think of a more enjoyable place to work on being more disciplined.
By the author of takingchances.co.uk
Takingchances came about from the realisation that life is what you make it. That a dream will only come true if you pursue it. That time is limited and each second passed is a second that cannot be re-captured. So to have a chance at finding fulfilment in life, the author of takingchances.co.uk quit her job in the UK and is travelling the world to gain insight from different perspectives and cultures. She came to Content Castle to learn how to write better and to pursue the possibility that writing will continue to let her take chances.