Doing It Write is the name of the weekly e-newsletter I’ve been sending out for ten years. I’m not trying to sell you on DIW - for one thing, it’s free so there’s no selling. I mention it because I wanted to tell you about the column I wrote for it last week. In it, I urged subscribers to form Writers Groups. And I’d like to urge you here to do that as well.
When I say “writers groups,” I’m not talking about critique groups. I mean a group of friends who are writers. A critique group is good if that's what you're in need of, but a fun writers group is good for the soul and for any occasion.
Recently I got together with a group of fellow writers for lunch. We meet irregularly, usually whenever one of us emails and wants to set up a date for a get-together. Then we keep tossing around dates until we find a time we can all or most agree on. We occasionally meet at a restaurant but most often convene at someone's house. A house is best since our lunches tend to stretch to around three hours long.
Considering we're all writers, we rarely talk about writing unless someone has a recent publication to share. We talk about everything else, from families, to vacations, to shows, to books we've read, to ... you name it.
Gather friends who are writers and friends of friends who are writers. There's a special feeling to meeting up with like-minded people. You're away from your computer, away from your manuscript, yet you're still in the writing world and you never know what will happen. You may get a lead on a magazine or agent. But most likely, you'll just have fun and relax and make long-lasting relationships. And those are important to writers who tend to be soloist playing notes on their computers.
It doesn't have to be often. We meet maybe four times a year. We happen to be all women, but your group can be a mix of sexes. We have different kinds of writers, from fiction to magazines to nonfiction to humor to travel. We're at different stages or levels of writing.
Gather a group of folks you like. It may take a lot of effort to find times when everyone can meet. Keep working at it. Find people whom you could support and who will support you - and keep them in your circle.
6 months ago