10 (Completely Idiosyncratic) Reasons Why You Need a Writing Group

In no particular order:

  1. Because your writing group will keep you writing (literally if your group like mine writes during its time together).
  2. Because the writing you do once a week (or once a month, for that matter) oozes into the rest of your time — you’ll want to have work to share with your writing group — and when you focus on anything, it grows.
  3. Because the stories told by the members of your writing group will spark memories and stories in you.
  4. Because your writing group can be like a good parent and reflect back to you your successes, no matter how small. At our lab, which meets for a scant 1 1/2 hours weekly, we lavish praise for a single line. I was going to say “a single gorgeous line,” but we’d probably lavish praise for a stumbly line, especially if we see that our fellow labster is struggling to get writing done.
  5. Because, conversely, your writing group will stop you from getting too big for your britches. We’re all in this together, and if you’ll be honest with them, they’ll be honest with you.
  6. Because reading and learning to talk about other people’s unpublished writing teaches you so much about your own writing.
  7. Because your writing group witnesses your journey as a writer, from fledgling to … wherever you take it.
  8. Because your writing group will come with wine or covered dishes to your annual potluck.
  9. Because your writing group helps you to shoulder your writing work.
  10. Because your writing group (like the play groups you took part in as a child, like musicians), reminds you that you’ve gathered not to work, but to play.


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