W – People who write are always looking for a way to be heard. When did you begin longing for an audience? It took me about a year of pounding the keys before I realized I was on my own. For a while, I felt terrible. How would I know if my writing was any good? Why write if no one read my stuff? The old if a tree falls in the forest thing. I hadn’t started reading chapters to my husband at that point, so I was completely isolated.
Unlike painting, music, or dance, writing isn’t a social expression of art. For the most part, writers work alone. But, at some point, they need feedback. I always swore I would never join a writer’s group but, out of the blue, through a series of coincidences, I found out about a newly forming group at a local independent bookstore. After one meeting, I decided it wasn’t for me but, again, another coincidence brought me back to the fold. It was the best thing that could have happened for my writing.
One of the great things about a good writer’s group is everyone gets it. Each member has doubts, setbacks, and triumphs. And, as I got to know my fellow writers, I learned so much from reading and critiquing their work. I read genres I would never have touched a year before, I poured over non-fiction, and I even read poetry. Forming a kinship of compassion and honesty with other writers is priceless.
So, thankyou, my Word Wizards. Our group has accomplished so much. In the last year, four of us finished our books. One of us is selling her non-fiction book and increasing sales every month. WIPs are still evolving. Memoirs are being refined.
Next time someone tells you about a writer’s group, consider joining up. It might be just the thing you and your writing need!