Should You Join a Local Writers Group?

Five Takeaways from a Recent Meeting

Last night I attended my second Bayou Writers meeting. The purpose of this local group is to provide an atmosphere of support, growth, and fellowship for local aspiring writers.

There were about 25 in attendance. It was a “reading event” in which 10 people read their pieces, including yours truly.

Poems, scenes from novels, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction all were represented.

The pieces were not critiqued, they were simply enjoyed in the wonderful ambience of a local tea room.

If you are considering joining a local scene, perhaps these five takeaways may shed some light.

1. Support

Being around other writers with the same vision, triumphs, and struggles is great for your morale.

Writing can be lonely. Last night, I didn’t feel alone.

2. Writing is a True Calling.

Many writers there have been following their writing passion for 40 plus years despite the lack of monetary reward.

They still love it. They still write.

3. Talent is Everywhere.

Although none of the writers were well-known or traditionally published, some of the pieces were outstanding.

Obscurity might limit reach and slow development, but it cannot completely squelch talent.

4. Sharing Your Work is Inspiring.

Let’s face it, we writers want to be heard and we want to make an impact. I read a four-minute piece on “facing your personal dragon”.

Having people tell me afterward that it spoke to their life made me feel good. It made we want to keep writing.

It also showed me which parts of my message resonates with people.

5. Promotion is a Skill to Be Developed

I fear that much of the work of the people in that room will not make the impact that it deserves.

It’s not because their work isn’t good, it’s because most of them are haven’t embraced the reality that writers need to develop the skill of marketing.

Jeff Goins speaks to this in Real Artists Don’t Starve.

Conclusion:

We writers are famous for isolating ourselves. Sometime that’s a necessary evil in order to give our work the focus it requires.

But getting out there and rubbing shoulders with fellow scribes can provide that extra boost that we sometimes need.

Is there a group near you?

I recommend at least giving it a visit.

Especially if Russian Earl Grey, tomato basil soup, and breakfast quiche is on the menu.

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