W is for Writing Group, and it’s something that you should get on to, right this very second! I’ve really had such a positive experience with my writing since I started being more social about it, and I think that it’s really made a huge difference in the amount of words that I get done, as well as the fact that I manage to participate and win NaNoWriMo every year that I try, now that I have a group to hold me steady.
My writing group is a decent size, but there are core people who are always around, who always participate, and who are always there to encourage others to write. It’s so important, in my opinion, to have a writing group. Now, do I mean that it has to be a Skype group like mine? Of course not! Does it have to be a bunch of people? No way! A gathering of 3 or 4 would honestly be enough – I always have a little IRL writing group between me and 3 other friends during NaNoWriMo, and that’s just as helpful to me as the writing group on the internet.
The importance of a writing group is to have a group of people who you feel comfortable around – you need at least one other person that you can bounce ideas off of, that you can talk to when you’re feeling uninspired… you need at least one other person who can understand what you’re going through as a writer, because no one else really does. Unless a person also writes, they can’t really understand that world trapped in your head, that story that needs to be told. They don’t understand being awake at night because you have ideas burning a hole in your brain and trying to escape through your fingers. And they don’t understand the frustration and almost pain when you can’t write. I know, if I don’t write for a few weeks, it actually starts to influence my mood. I’ll get grouchy, and depressed, and extremely unhappy… and the instant that I write, that all starts to lift away like a curtain. To have an entire group of people who can surround you and understand that sensation is truly key as a writer.
It’s a social journey, whether we realize it or not. Writers like to write in solitude, but we enjoy our world being able to tell its story – we enjoy being able to discuss what we’re doing with other people. We need a group, a person, a close friend to hold us accountable for getting our words done. I really try to do that for my writing group – I’ll try to keep them on task, try to get them to write even when they don’t necessarily feel like it, but they know that they need to. During camps, I try to run crawls, and sprints, and wars – anything to get people to write. We all try to make it an environment in which we can enjoy writing, get writing done, and let everyone else know when we accomplished our goals.
So, look into a writing group! Or at least a writing buddy! If you need one on skype, I will happily add you if you want me to be that buddy (ego.dominustuus). If you don’t like to use Skype, check around. I’ve realized that most locations have local writing groups where you meet up once a week and share what you’ve done, what you intend to do, read your stories aloud, etc. Just find something, because being on this journey alone is a lonesome road – you need encouragement, a creative environment – you need someone to cheer you on, because what you’re doing is truly amazing. It deserves cheers, and words of inspiration, and urging, and prodding, and someone always in your corner. You’re a writer, you’re amazing. Never forget that! If you find the right Writing Group, I know they’ll never allow you to forget it, even for a moment!
So that’s all for the letter W! We only have XYZ left! How exciting that we’re coming to the close of the Alphabet Series – if you have any suggestions for another writing series that you’d like to see, whether it’s tips, tricks, whatever, just let me know! I really do enjoy helping people with my advice, my words of encouragement, and I want to continue to do so for as long as I can!
Until the letter X!
Author Amanda McCormick