As a new writer, you hear a lot about writing groups. You'll be told, "you must get into one--your writing career depends on it." Well, that may be a stretch, but it's close.
There's a secret to the people who offer this advice on writing groups and it's that the people who say these things are the people who are in successful writing groups, groups that meet on a regular basis. They're also the people who can personally testify of a writing group's importance in their writing career.
Tonight I attended one of the most successful writing groups that I've ever heard of--not as a guest, but as a member of the group. There are many ways to attach the term "successful" to a group. Do they meet regularly? That's a biggie for a writing group. Are the members engaged, or in other words, do they get the writing done? Do they offer helpful critiques? And, though some may consider this to be the most important aspect of success, have the participants gotten published?
I've been following those in this group for a long time. It's been years since I first asked about joining. Two weeks ago I got an e-mail asking me if I wanted to join. I was so excited--it was like hearing that a story you've written has been chosen to be published. This group is successful because they meet regularly and have done so for almost a decade. They are engaged--they do the writing. They are extremely helpful and their criticisms are offered with respect and with the sole desire to help each other become better writers.
And, in the home where they meet is a collection of books, books that are published--and it's more than just a few.
Tonight was my first meeting and I left with my first notes of how to fix my little story. Will my writing career depend on my inclusion and participation in this group? I guess we'll find out! Thanks guys for giving me the chance!