I live in an area that is fairly isolated. It is a village situation, but we live a few hilly kilometres from the nearest city where a thriving (or budding) author would be able to get all the support and assistance they might require. So I have joined some writing groups. Are they a waste of time?
In one sense – yes! I spend lots of time each day reading the posts that other people have written about their writing dilemmas. But on the whole, no, they are not a waste of time or space.
Being in such a quiet place, with no other like minded people around me, I find the only form of support I get (other than mentioning that I write and get inundated with people wanting to read my work) I get no support from fellow writers, so I am part of two groups, three if you count the informal one that I am part of.
The writing groups provide you with the stimulation you need to keep motivated. When I am flagging, I can check in and see that others are struggling too, not necessarily about the same things, but we all understand what each other is talking about, and therefore able to sympathise. If I discuss my writing woes with people who read my work, they tend to look at me blankly before saying ‘Don’t worry, you will get over it!” That isn’t always what one wants to hear!
The second group I belong to is a like minded group of people who are trying to make greater awareness of Speculative Fiction Writers within NZ. There are plenty of writers, some of them award winning who are having to publish overseas because NZ editors don’t think there is a market for that genre here in good old NZ. Well, we are going to prove them wrong.
My third group, is a small group – consisting of two other writers. We all write similar genre (Funnily enough we all belong to the other two groups as well) and we send each other our works and openly ask for criticism – which often comes, good and bad, and which is supporting and encouraging. Oh we all have our moments, no doubt about it, when we think they hate it, they don’t like my work, but us authors can be a sentimental lot, and once we are over it, we take it on board and use it.
So are Writing groups a waste of time? I don’t think so, I feel very encouraged and supported because of people who share a similar interest with me. A passion for writing.