So last post I was talking about how much I love my writing groups. Along with getting writers out of the house- which can sometimes be an issue! So, on the off chance you couldn’t find a writing group near you (or online) that you liked there is one other option. Starting your own.
So, first things first (and chances are if you’ve been looking for a writing group you’ll have an ideal already) you need an idea of what you want it your writing group to be.
- Online or in person?
- What if activities are you going to have? Discussions, write ups, classes, etc?
- Genre orientated or open to anyone?
- Will there be a membership fee?
Once you have a few ideas of what you’re looking for its time to find people and a place.
So, the people can be hard or easy. A lot of it depends on luck. But if you’re a writer chances are you know other writers or people who know writers, so that’s a start. Reach out to people you already know about setting up a writing group of some sort. Whether online or in person having two or three people working on the group can be so helpful when it comes.to getting things up and going.
Now, sometimes the place can be a little tough. You can always reach out to libraries or community centers who will probably be happy to add the programming and may even help promote.
So now that we talked about the “big stuff” it should give you a basic an idea of where you want to go with your group. Online writing groups are easier to start and often times easier to connect with other writers.
How Did I Do It?
First let em start off by talking about one of my writing groups real quickly. The one at the library. That was pretty easy, the library organized it all and promoted it for me. So, that fell into my lap really easily.
The second, not so easily. The second one I had actually started planning before the library one started. It took a long time. It started as an online group (Via Facebook, actually) where I connected with a couple people who were interested in setting up a meetup as well. After months of trying, one person and I finally met up. We talked about what we wanted the group to be and picked a date. It felt easy.
Then, the day came along and two other people showed up. Three people, awesome right?
Along with in person meetups we also keep the Facebook page active (Or try to, at least.) with discussions, sharing our work and articles/trends/news, along with online write-ups.
Does it take a lot of work?
Yes. It does. I’m not even going to lie about that. And sometimes it’s not very successful. With the way my group works, we meet in three cities. One a month and rotate. We also share other events going on in the area or areas I know our members are close to. So yes, it takes a lot of work and it’s a lot of networking. And sometimes, it’s tacing and draining, and hard, and annoying. But it can also be super rewarding to see a writing group succeed. It’s a great way to connect with other writers, get feedback, improve, try something new, and make a couple cool friends.
But wait… what goes on at writing groups?
This is a question I get asked all the time. Both by people interested in coming to the meetups and people who have no interest in it at all. And the simple answer is: Whatever we want.
Sometimes we do a prompt. Sometimes we talk about our dogs.
Okay, most of the time we don’t talk too much about our dogs. But the idea of our writing group isn’t to sit down and write, it’s to talk about writing- our online writeups are for writing- with people who know what it’s like. Often times we talk about what we’re working on, share our work for critique (I suggest printing it off and letting people take it home), and talk about industry trends.