I ♥ Writing Groups

I have said this before, and I will say it again.  I love writing groups.  I love the encouragement and support you get.

And I love that you meet a writer that you know you will click with and get along with and you share similar interests in your writing.  I am part of several groups, two meet together.  One is the romance writers group which I have been part of for two years now.  Best decision I ever made.  I love these local ladies, we have a critique group also, but because I live so far out of town, it is hard for me to get there, but I contribute every now and then.

I have developed a close relationship with a couple of these ladies and we meet together once a month (alternating with the RWNZ meetings) and we have a catch up, laugh and talk.  Not necessarily about our writing, but when we do, we always help each other out, talking about our problems, characters, muses etc.

Support groups are wonderful, whether it is for writing, craft or anything, make sure you are part of a group because you get so much out of it.  The benefits for me are:

♥.  Knowing that there are others who have conversations with their characters, and they aren’t mad

♥. Wanting to go home and write and write and write and write

♥. Sharing a similar interest in our writing – whether it is genre or culture.

♥. Learning about another writers style and appreciating it.

♥. Getting goosebumps when you hear another writers story and knowing that it is good.

♥. Hearing that the other person gets goosebumps hearing about your story ideas

♥. Coming away with more ideas and small snippets from the writing exercises that could be useful in your current WiP

As a result of our meeting on Saturday, Donna Capil and I are going to be meeting together, via facebook, to encourage each other as we get writing this week.  Donna has a story she wants to finish by the end of April, and I have a story I want to start writing.  So we have a common goal and a common interest.

Will let you know how we go.

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KiwiWriters Blogging Week – Day Four

I have managed to make it to 4… Phew.

Today I want to talk a bit more about Writing Groups.  I have done this lots of time before – and how important it is to surround yourself with like minded people.  But today I want to discuss how encouraging a Writing Group can be.

Our group started by a few ladies meeting up at KiwiWriters and discovering we all had one town in common, so we started our writers group.  We are a varied bunch of writers, I like to write fantasy, two write (and are part of the Nelson Romance writers group) and one likes to write historical.  We got together about a year ago, and met on a regular basis, getting to know each other and to discuss our work.  Through encouragement we have grown as a group, support each other and networked our ideas together.

As a result, one of the group has recently received a contract with HarperCollins for her historical novel, and another took part in NaNoWriMo and has since had her book accepted by Wild Press Roses.  It was only through the group encouragement that these two people felt comfortable enough to take that first step – to send the first email, to write the first word.  These two wonderful ladies are very strong supporters of the others in the group, one who has also had two romance books published, and little ole me, who has had one short story previously published.

It wasn’t the group itself that encouraged these ladies, it was the encouragement and support that they got.  They knew that they could talk to us about their ideas, their hopes, dreams and know that we validated them.

Keep up the good work ladies, it is a privilege to  encourage you and know that you support me too.

Writing Groups

I have been writing now, steadily, for about three and a half years.  I have been a member at KiwiWriters for about three years.  In that time, there has been writers group in my area, other than Romance Writers, and I AM NOT a romance writer.  So I have tried to set up a rural group, where we chat via internet… but that wasn’t a happening thing either.

I have developed some really good friendships through KiwiWriters, and they are my writing group, as far as I am concerned.

But recently, there have been two people pop up on KiwiWriters who are in my area and want to meet up.  My opportunity had finally arrived.

On Friday, we had our first meeting, and it was truly amazing.  All three of us are from different backgrounds, but we have one thing in common.  We write.  We write because we need to, because we want to, and because we have a story to tell.  It was wonderful to meet two other women who understood me, who have the same problems as I do and who can help me to overcome obstacles that I might have in my writing.

I certainly won’t be abandoning my writing friends who still give me invaluable advice and help (thanks Cassie!) but it is nice to sit down, have a coffee and a chat about why my latest storyline isn’t working, or having new ideas on how to close a story brought up, discussed and decided.

Yes, we are still new, but I have a feeling that we aren’t going to get antsy with each other, or steal each other’s ideas.  We all write differently, we like historical, fantasy and romance.  So we are still getting to know each other, but I think we are going to be together for a long time yet!

Writing Groups – Are they a waste of time?

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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.