I am a huge advocate of the peer writers’ group. Finding a supportive and encouraging peer writers’ group is really important. This is critical to growing as an artist. I can’t recommend having a group enough. I was in a bad way last night and had a pep talk with a friend from my writers’ group. She reminded me of a few very important things – not the least of which is the fact that my writers’ group is a huge lifeline, both for my craft and for me.
Writers’ groups are essential to the writer for a variety of reasons. The best thing about having a writers’ group is that for us solitary creatures who are writers, the only people who really get what it is to toil in obscurity and solitude all the time are other writers. Even after a writer is paid well and successful, the work process is mainly solitary – which can get a writer down. A peer group is an instant network of people who understand us at our core. In this regard, writing is unique.
A good peer writers’ group also helps us write better. My friend reminded me that we get notes in order to improve our craft. Ultimately, we undergo this unique form of torture in order to better ourselves and our writing. In this way, notes are not unlike therapy. We have to stare down our demons and then work to overcome them (more on that to come).
And nothing beats a friend with whom you can just be yourself and be brutally honest. Last night I was firmly travelling down the woe-is-me highway on my way to hell, and my friend threw a lasso around my neck and said, “Whoa Nellie.” There’s nothing wrong with a come-to-jesus every now and again.
I certainly wouldn’t be half to writer I am today, nor as optimistic, nor with as much enthusiasm without my steadfast writer friends to keep egging me on. And I’m sure the feeling is mutual.
Monica, I think that your writer’s group is probably larger than you think. There have been a few times already that your words have inspired me and egged me on. Hope to have lunch with ya in October. Cheers!
Thanks, Joanna. I’m so happy to hear that you find my blog inspirational. Fight the good fight!
I look forward to seeing you, too,