Maybe when you imagine the life of a writer you think of a dark cave with a heavy thinker hunkered over an antique typewriter. This deep soul would only appear every three or four days for a bite of haggis, and then return, driven and obsessed, to prose production.
Well, writing isn’t actually much of a solo sport. Sure there are hours and days (and weeks) when a writer must be planted in front of their laptop, but for many writers, their writing group is more valuable than gold. Critiquing, brain storming, consoling, celebrating and caffeining are all things that writing group members do for each other.
My own group, composed of Carrie and Jennifer (names changed to protect their craziness) meets about once a month to share ideas, stories, contemplate life and parenting, discuss books and process. One time we actually brought our laptops and wrote together as well! Without their grounding advice and inspiration, I would be lost.
Other writers feel the same kind of connection with their writing groups. Two WriteLife authors (Lucy Adkins and Becky Breed) co-wrote WRITING IN COMMUNITY: SAY GOODBYE TO WRITER’S BLOCK AND TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE on the magic of successful writing groups. And each has their own experiences to share…
I credit the various groups I have been involved with for helping me grow in ways I could not have done by myself. In particular I am referring to “generative” writing groups–groups that meet for the express purpose of generating new writing. We don’t critique when we gather together, we write! It’s a remarkable process, our members going home each time we meet with poems and the beginnings of stories that would not have happened without the group. Many of these have gone on to publication–and for my writing friend, Becky Breed, and I, our generative group has led to our writing a writing book of our own, one we hope will be of inspiration to others living this amazing writing life.
Lucy and I have a total of thirty-five years of experiencing the joy of writing groups, and each time we meet, there’s still the freshness of a first time encounter. We also publish a weekly blog, www.writeincommunity.com, on the writing life. This week, the blog was about our writing group, Write On! My Writing Group.
While writing groups are amazing, they can also be supplemented with books on the craft of writing. Here is the book by Lucy and Becky as well as several others to keep you inspired and encouraged.
Writing in Community by Lucy Adkins and Becky Breed is a book of inspiration and encouragement for writers who want to reach deep within themselves and write to their fullest potential. There is magic in a successful writing group. This book helps writers tap into that magic, and with gentle wisdom and humor, experience unprecedented breakthroughs in creativity.
“David Martin has the rare gift of writing, which inspires readers to open their eyes and look closely at the world around them. Whatever subject he writes about, he convinces us that he has discovered what is most important in life and has never forgotten it. He epitomizes Plato’s famous quotation from Socrates: ‘The unexamined life is not worth the living.’ At the heart of his essays is Martin’s conviction that writing is essential to the well-being of people of all ages. He has found joy and meaning in his own writing, and he is passionate in his desire to encourage others to realize what a precious gift writing can be. His essays model a graceful style, a strong voice, a facility with language, and a focus on what is truly significant in life.” Dr. Loren Logsdon, Emeritus Professor of English, Eureka College, Eureka, Illinois.
Carl Adkins calls upon his broad teaching background that includes students from high school, community college, university undergraduate and graduate writing courses to address familiar writing problems in common sense language. In other words, this sensible writer’s handbook is truly user friendly.
This book is designed to help student athletes become better writers. Carl Adkins calls upon his broad teaching and coaching background that includes students from high school, community college, university undergraduate and graduate writing courses to address familiar writing problems in common sense language. In other words, this sensible writer’s handbook is truly user friendly.