Writing Groups - my simple take

I'll try to keep it simple and to the point:

1) What is a writing group?

It's a group of a few people who are at least a bit serious about writing/editing, trying to work on their craft together. Simple tl;dr - you don't want to spend thousands of dollars on professional editors from the very beginning? You can help other writers with their writing as 'payment' instead. (and you may learn a thing or two in the process).

(for more details, I'd recommend watching Brandon Sanderson's lectures, where he explains it longer and better)

2) Do writing groups work for everyone?


3) Do I need to be professional to join a writing group?

No. But you do have to be willing to listen to what others say and put in an effort yourself.

4) Are all writing groups the same?

No. Just like not all authors are the same. Some writing groups meet in person; others use asynchronous communication, like writing on discord. Also - it is important to pick people that write what you'd like to read or write. e.g. I don't like reading horror, so having to help edit four horror books regularly would drive me crazy.

5) What can you actually gain from being in a writing group?

Well, now that depends on who you are and what writing group you join. A couple of general examples:

First of all, you get a test audience for your work. And a test audience with some knowledge of the craft - so they can sometimes point out the problems more precisely.
Second, you get people that walk similar paths at the same time. They can point you in a right direction when you get lost. (Note the a right direction, not the right direction - rarely is there only a single way to do things right)
Third, both by seeing others initial drafts and by receiving semi-professional feedback, you can manage your imposter syndrome (if you're even good enough to have it).
Fourth, if you struggle with consistency, external commitment (like: "I'll submit at least a page for review each week") can help with it.
Fifth, having someone read what you write can boost your motivation, especially if you're working on a large project that'd require years to get published.
Sixth, you gain other perspectives on a lot of writing-related stuff.

So, that's it. I've seen little on the topic here and wanted to share my perspective.

Have a good day, everyone!

Re: Writing Groups - my simple take

It’s just a bare minimum of what I would ask one of my group members. You’d be surprised how many people say they want to write but when you ask them to produce something… anything… they cannot. Machine Capybara and I had to kick a group member out because he wasn’t writing and we were getting to the point where our stuff and it had been months… since this guy joined and zero pages.

Like if you want to hang out sure let’s be friends but don’t tell me you want to write, and then spend three or more months making excuses while writing more excuses than actual writing.


This is why I’m a fan of asking your critique partners for a sample before having them join. I can work with someone who isn’t great but actually wants to do the work. I can’t make someone write.


Re: Writing Groups - my simple take

Well, I'm not saying that one page per week is the goal at our writing group. But it'd be fine if it was! As long as you're consistently writing something, you're going to consistently get closer to your goal. And some people are busier at life, and it's ok too.

I usually do 1-3 episodes (min ~4 pages each) per week, with occasional bursts of productivity (I think I managed 7/week once). Weavervale writes like ~all of them per week.