5 Reasons Why Finding A Writer’s Group Is A Must

©2012 Carmen Peone

I live in isolation. Not in jail. Not in the Yukon. But in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I am surrounded by mountains running along the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. I am writer who is friend starved and I’m not happy about it. Or at least can now say was not happy about it. A few days ago, six of us ladies got together. I was beaming the entire hour drive to the hostess’s house. The feeling of isolation dissipated. Yet I was scared and nervous.

I have been praying for two years that I could connect with other writing and not have to travel ninety miles or more. I was eager to share ideas, writing topics, marketing tips and lunch. Anything! I was so thrilled to finally meet with other Christian ladies who write. I didn’t care what they wrote, just that they put pen to paper, or finger tips to key pads. A few of us are authors and some are bloggers with much to say not only about writing and marketing, but about life. Hard, cold life.

So I have come up with 5 reasons it is essential for writers to be in a group. It is as important as air is to lungs. At least for me.

1. New friendships are forged. We learned so much about one another. Not only about writing, but of life issues. Many of the bloggers I met share with their readers about struggles they dealt with in the past or are dealing with today. How to overcome. How to survive. New relationships I learned are just as important if not more.

2. Sharing is the key that opens the door to growth: marketing tips, web sites and the like. We had all attended the same Inland Northwest Christian Writer’s Conference last March and met up at the end of the conference. Some already had friendships started. Others of us are now creating new friendships. It was so encouraging to share what works and what isn’t in terms of marketing.

3. Bits and pieces of our work can be shared and critiqued. We didn’t get as far as critiquing those pieces of work, but were able to hear a sample of a writer’s first book. It is so rich in culture and style. I can’t wait to read more. I am so excited for her.

4. Suggestions are born. A mini-retreat, so to speak, is now in the works. A weekend this fall where we can get together and share, critique and learn. Ideas popped up and the mill began to turn.

5. Finally, encouragement and fellowship I found is a must. There are more writers out there who are just as afraid of having their work reviewed as I am. Yet I now realize they are pulling for me as I am pulling for them. We all want to cheer on the other as dreams sneak closer toward our reach.

Being around other writers has filled my soul full of the nourishment it so craved. I feel renewed. I feel refreshed. I feel like I need to jump into the unfinished manuscript of my fourth book and be ready to share and learn at our October retreat. I will be ready.

Are you in a writer’s group? If not, I urge you to close your computer and search one out. Create one if you have to. Don’t stop until you find a group that fits your needs. How have you been inspired by being around other writers and their gifts?

Connect with Carmen

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  1. Dawn @ The Momma Knows says:

    Carmen it was so good to meet you! You are so right…we need to have others we can relate to face to face. I love our group, and it all started through a conference and a Facebook page!

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Dawn, So great to meet you also and your amazing boys. I took away so much from our get together. I can’t wait for the next!

  2. Simply Darlene says:

    Miss Carmen,

    Meeting another simple country girl like you was a gift for me! I hope we can get together again soon.


    1. carmenpeone says:

      I feel the same way, Darlene. I can’t wait to meet up again, very soon. Thank you for blessing me so much!

  3. Parris ja Young says:

    As a writer I have a peculiar sort of mind. I ‘steal’ peoples’ lives; observe and try to ‘draw’ those lives with words. I often think in metaphor instead of concretes. I often imagine things getting whimsical, extreme, fantastic in the the true sense of the word. I often imagine happy endings. I love people. And more. I am polite as I speak with the ‘mundanes’ (muggles) and I am not judgmental … but, Lordy, I get bored with much small talk. I belong to two writers groups. One is mostly old ladies and they are such a hoot! We laughed and laughed last night over the story one of our members wrote about a man who had a sexual transfer operation, then a reversal … we began to play with that idea and I realized that old ladies can get pretty damned risque! I have a group of young people who are great writers. With this group we often end up going late into the night and drinking a bit of wine. BOTH of these groups feed that fire of creativity, curiosity, whimsey, adventure, daring, and RIGOR that is required of a writer. I love both groups. THEY FEED ME!

    1. carmenpeone says:

      I agree, Parris. My group fed me so full, I waddled home! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Gretchen Louise says:

    Love this! So glad you were able to come.

  5. Robert Valleau says:

    Great insight! Wonderful post. Thank you for writing this.

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Thank you, Bob. Hope it helps.

  6. Carmina Widmark says:

    Hi,Just want to say how I really related to what you have said here. I am English, but I am living in a tiny village right out in the sticks in Sweden. I am not a published author, though hoping to be soon! I can’t use my English car here and buses are few and far between so really am isolated here. I haven’t been able to find anyone else who writes living around here so until a few weeks ago, I have been on my own. However, two groups on Facebook, Christian writer groups, happened to come my way at just the right time and I am so grateful for them.
    I wish you many blessings with your group, it sounds great.

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Carmina. Thank you so much! I really hope the Facebook groups help. I think they will. It is nice to be able to connect with someone…some how. Blessings to you as well!

  7. Alana Terry says:

    We just started one. It’s been so encouraging so far!

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Alana, that is fantastic. Blessings to you.