What group writing sessions can do for you and your writing, no matter what genre you write or what stage your book is currently in.
There is a persistent myth of the writer as a solitary creature who locks himself away, slavishly works on his masterpiece and then emerges at a much later date with a brilliant manuscript that is ready to be shared with the world and instantly accepted into the culture’s literary canon. The problem with this myth is that writers are a diverse bunch and isolation isn’t helpful for every writer who wants to write and publish a book. Not to mention being problematic from a book marketing perspective.
Today, increasing numbers of aspiring and experienced writers are turning to writing groups and group writing sessions, both in person and online. To understand why, let’s examine three of the main benefits that group writing sessions provide.
Motivation and Support
When you’re writing on your own, it’s much easier to procrastinate and not put in the work needed to produce a great book. All the modern distractions at your fingertips don’t tend to help either. While in the end some writers manage to get across the finish line without outside help, the fact is that many writers benefit from the motivation, support and gentle accountability that group writing sessions provide.
Session leaders and other participating writers provide motivation and creative fuel by helping to keep your writing on track and the goal of finishing your book within easy reach. They want to see you succeed and will encourage you to do your best work each and every week until you’ve brought that book you’ve envisioned to life.
They will support you all along the way of your book writing journey. After all, they too get what it means to write. They understand what it’s like to search for the perfect word or character name, to revise a page three times and still be concerned that it hasn’t turned out right, and the occasional anxiety of wanting to have a book published yesterday already. They will celebrate with you when you’ve found the perfect word, when you’ve completed your tenth chapter and when you’ve hit any sought-after milestone you’ve set.
Always writing alone can be like working in an echo chamber, which is not ideal if you expect your writing to be the best it can be. For that, you will need to seize opportunities to grow, improve and even be inspired, which is how group writing sessions can help.
Group writing sessions can provide regular opportunities for writers to receive feedback on their writing, as well as to offer feedback to other participating writers. This feedback should be both given and received in the spirit of constructive criticism – not to injure or cause offense but to gently identify specific areas for improvement, possible alternatives and other ideas that the writer could explore. It’s not all necessarily negative-leaning either. I promise you, adulatory comments and really great ideas for your book that you might not have thought of on your own can be sweet, sweet music to your ears.
No matter what genre you’re writing or how much experience (or not) you’ve previously had as a writer, feedback from group writing sessions can help to strengthen any work of writing. Feedback on early drafts can help you to find more solid ground, while feedback on later-stage projects can help you to polish the work to a higher standard. And who doesn’t want that?
Writing alone can be like embarking on a trip without a map (or your navigation aid of choice). You might get there eventually without one, but a map could help you to get there ten times faster and give you more time to enjoy the final destination.
Writing groups can be led in different ways. Some writing group sessions are led by writers who set the time and bring the snacks but basically let the other writers organize themselves. Other writing group sessions are led by writers who provide a more steady hand, offering guidance in a gentle but more structured way. With the second type of group writing sessions, writers have the opportunity to make more rapid progress and typically see their book come out faster.
Session leaders use their expertise to guide writers through different aspects of writing and the writing journey, as well as to make sure that everyone has the right experience together. They will regularly sit down and check that map with you, ensuring that you’re not just spinning in circles but really going in the right direction that you’ve set out for yourself.
Are you currently part of a writing group? What benefits do you want from your group writing sessions?
Dudley Court Press
Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors.
For more information, including about DCP’s programs for writers including Writers’ Sprint, Memoir Writing Made Easy, and Aspiring Author to Published Pro, please get in touch at info@DudleyCourtPress.com.