The Value of Writing in Groups

I am a Weakling.

For those of you who don’t know, I belong to a writers group called the Weaklings. This group was created by a shared interest, then bound in the flames of the 3-Day Novel Contest. We began that first 3-Day Novel experience as friends and emerged as brethren. And we’ve been writing together ever since.

I know that some of my friends and readers are participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). For those of you who have thrown down the writing gauntlet this month, I have two pieces of advice.

  1. Write with other writers.
  2. Stop reading blogs and get back to writing your novel.

And since you are ignoring the second piece of advice, let’s expound upon the first.

Here are some of the advantages of writing in groups:

  • Writing can be a lonely time. It’s good to have humans around to remind you to be human.
  • It takes a lot less time to bounce a plot idea off someone in the same room. If you venture online to get your interaction, you are likely to get sucked into a social media vortex and lose hours on your novel project.
  • It is fun to shout out word counts and random times with other writers to spur each other on.
  • You are more likely to sit and write when you are surrounded by people who are sitting and writing. No one wants to feel like the outsider.
  • Other writers won’t judge you for asking advice on how to murder one of your characters. Other writers understand.

So for any local friends who are participating in NaNoWriMo, here’s a link to some gatherings in the Grand Rapids area. Don’t hesitate to go just because you don’t know anyone there. You’ll have at least one thing in common with even the strangest of them, and you’ll be ignoring their presence for most of the time anyway.

And if you aren’t doing NaNoWriMo this year, the rules still hold true for writers who want to get some writing done. I know how thankful I am for my fellow Weaklings. I hope all of you can find a group of writers like mine.


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