Thursday, February 4, 2016

Is Your Writing Group Missing Something?

I remember some of the first writing chapters I visited. I really started noticing interesting trends in the groups. There were groups that "had it" and groups that "didn't." There were these amazingly dedicated groups of writers who seemed to be stuck in a rut, On the other hand, there were chapters that seemed to be breeding N Y Times Best selling authors. What was the difference?

The answer is amazingly easy. The chapters doing well were taking advantage of their resources. They were taking advantage of every opportunity to bring in specialists to guide them through the process. Those groups who were struggling were simply trying to do it all on their own. They seemed to think that all it took was a good brain and they could work out the problems on their own.

It isn't going to work that way.

Take some time to look around your writing group. Are they really doing well? Are they making the advancements they said they wanted months or years ago? Are you all writing for the same publisher? This might tell you something!

Bringing in guest speakers is the best way to get that group moving and it doesn't take much! Even if your group want nothing to do with the traditional publishing system, speaking with editors and agents will give you an insight into the process as well as what the entire business looks like.

Now, I get that money always becomes an issue. It doesn't have to be that way. You can do this inexpensively. You just have to think. For example:

  • Invite one person every three months. You don't need a panel of 8-10. Keep it simple. That will also give you a chance to worry about expenses.
  • Invite locally. There are editors and agents all around the nation. Look around. I have always found it interesting that here in the Seattle area, there are big writing groups and yet, they always look to longer distances to getting the speakers (but then complain about expenses). 
  • Online workshops. Using things such as Yahoo groups or even Go-To-Meeting doesn't take much of a set up
  • Guest blogging.
  • SKYPE! I am a big proponent of this one. Not much of a set-up and it doesn't cost you anything. Just get a laptop and a projector. It's that easy.
The point is, get them going to invite those speakers. Make this your 2016 resolution. I don't care if you aren't the President, VP or Conference Coordinator for your group. You can get the ball rolling.

It is easy!

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting idea! I belong to two writing groups with different readership targets. Both are really insightful groups that make my writing better, and in both groups, some of us (including myself) are getting published. But I love the idea of bringing in a professional now and then.