Growth through writing

To write is to bleed words one was never aware he possessed. To share this is to share one’s own body. Joining a writing club or workshop similar to the one managed by Kent State student Devon Stairs can be ultimately beneficial to one’s academic life as well as overall social well-being.

The mindfully decorated work table that members of Kent State University’s Writer’s Workshop gather around to begin their meeting, their pieces, to work with their words.

Writer’s Digest contributing author Bruce Niedt claims there are multiple reasons why a person may seek membership in a writing group, explaining some of the benefits. Niedt maintains that a writing group can elicit inspiration as other members can prove to be a source for creating new ideas through friendly competition, writing to specific prompts or assignments to draw the author out of his comfort zone and expand his realm of thought. Especially in a college campus setting, writing clubs are perfect for education and evaluation. This may include practicing certain styles of writing, learning how to properly edit one’s work, and using constructive criticism to mold drafts into final pieces. Other benefits include promotion of work when a writing club joins the public sphere in order to present their pieces individually or as a group and gain recognition for their work. Publication is always an option when some writing clubs compete in contests or pool their money together to create a group publication. A writing club, whether the members are college students seeking a medium for their voice to be heard or a group of retirees looking for recreation in the city, serves as a destination for socialization, making friends and colleagues that share the same in-print interests.

Ann Swindell, a veteran writing teacher and author for Darling Magazine, shares her story of how joining a writing group gave her the true sense of belonging that elevated her as a writer and a person.

“For both the amateur and the professional writer, a writing group is an opportunity to bring your work into the light of other minds for both encouragement and challenge, not to mention that feeling of being in a group of like-minded people where your shared passion can thrive,” says Swindell. Fellow members not only provide feedback that will both break down and build up one’s writing, but they provide a secure environment where one can feel free to share ideas and beliefs in print.

Writing is a means of communication of emotion, desire, and thought. It is through the written word that humans speak to one another, share their values, and prove their knowledge. By including others in one’s work, there is ample opportunity for growth.

How a college campus writing group operates, according to the Writing Center at Montana State University.