Every aspiring author, poet, or even casual writer wants to improve their writing, and there are so many ways to do it—writing every day, experimenting with scenes, and more. Another great way to keep up with your writing is to join a writing group. Writing groups are communities of writers who chat or gather to discuss each other’s writing, motivate each other, or simply socialize. There are so many benefits to joining a writing group, especially if you’re interested in connecting with other writers.
Why join a writing group?
Writing groups can be beneficial for many reasons. Some people join them for social support, to have a group of people they can ask questions, express their concerns, or just socialize with other writers. Other writing groups use their communities for practice and accountability. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, every November is an excellent example of a writing group that encourages accountability—writers have the opportunity to join Discord servers based on their locations and are able to participate in writing sprints, where they can compete against other members to write as many words as possible in a certain time frame, among other activities.
Want opinions and/or critiques on your latest idea, story, or poem? Join a writing group! Want to improve your beta-reading and editing skills? Join a writing group! Want to find other writers who write in the same genre you do, or wish to expand your expertise into other genres? You guessed it—join a writing group. These groups are great for motivation from like-minded people and getting to talk with fellow writers can help get your creative juices flowing.
What kind of writing groups are out there?
When it comes to writing groups, there are so many options. If you’re looking for a larger group, try the aforementioned NaNoWriMo Discord servers or join a regional group through the NaNo website. There are also other resources to find regional groups, such as the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and Writers Connection. Writer’s Relief also has a long list of associations, sorted by state.
You can also consider finding groups based on the kind of writing you do. Do you like to write poetry or short stories? Are you working on a novel? Do you write exclusively romance or fantasy, or are you looking to branch out? Whatever your niche, there is most likely a writing group out there for it. There are many social media sites to find the group that’s right for you, including Discord, Twitter (using #writingcommunity), or whatever your main platform is.
Of course, you can always create your own writing group. This could be in person, in a group chat, even over email—whatever works for you and your fellow writers. For example, I am part of a larger NaNoWriMo Discord group, where I can work on the outlines for my various projects during the NaNoWriMo season in November, and I also have a (much) smaller group with two of my friends, where we call each other every week or so and talk about our works in progress, collaborate on new story ideas, and read through each other’s writing.
It can be scary to let others read your work, but having a supportive writing group can help. Writing groups can help writers gain confidence in their abilities, make new friends, and find motivation to continue their craft. If you want feedback on your writing, are interested in networking, or just want to spend time with people who share your creative interests, joining or creating a writing group could be just what you need.