Sunday, April 20, 2008

Writer's Groups

A few of the Grand Lake Wordsmiths after a
presentation at Grove Public Library

Here’s some more writerly (Is that a word? My spoolchucker doesn’t think so. If not, it is now) advice I gave my granddaughter.

Join a writer’s group. If you’re not sure if there is one in your area, try asking at the library, they will probably know if there is one. I joined a writer’s group when I first moved to Oklahoma and I believe my writing has improved as a result. I know without the support and encouragement of my writer’s group, I would never have tried to get anything published.

At first it’s very difficult having your stories critiqued, after all, we none of us like criticism of our work. But as well as helping to improve your writing, it helps you develop a thick skin, and believe me you’ll need it if you want to be a writer. I could paper my office walls with all my rejections. Writing is also a very isolated business and it’s good to be able to talk about it with like-minded people.

Also the diverse writing styles of the group caused me to look outside my comfort zone and try different types of writing. When I first joined them I wrote short stories and nothing else. Now, I write non-fiction articles and essays about all manner of things. Who knows, one of these days I might really branch out and write some poetry. The last time I tried to write poetry it was as an outlet for my teenage angst, and that was a long time ago.

Writer’s groups are also a great way to make new friends. The group I belong to is called Grand Lake Wordsmiths Unlimited, and we meet on the fourth Tuesday of every month, between 4pm and 6pm, at Grove Community Center. New members are always welcome, so if you live in the Grand Lake area, drop by and see us some time. We also have a critique group meeting in the middle of the month, the dates and times of these are arranged at our monthly meetings.

Thought for the Week

“I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork”. ― Peter De Vries

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