I am allergic to groups. Though I don’t regret any of the significant groups I’ve been a part of, whether it was the Girl Scouts, the drama team, the local library association, or writing workshops, I tend not to seek them out. I prefer to do my own things on my own timeline. I also hate feeling excluded; where there is inclusion, there is necessarily its opposite, be it for a good reason or no reason at all.
This fact about me is why it is so strange that soon I will celebrate my third anniversary with my writing group. Although it is not so strange; I love being anywhere near these other writers, now that we have become friends, and it is a great pleasure and honor for me to help them with their stories.
We get together every other Wednesday night, and either critique each others’ drafts or write our own. One of the main reasons I have not given up after so many rounds of rejection is because of our little group. We all experience similar trials, and we all understand the necessity of these trials. We can rely on each other for honest feedback and solid support. Most of all, we genuinely enjoy working together and want to see each other succeed.
As you navigate your own way through the turbulence and frustration, I cannot stress enough the importance of fellow writers. I found my group through craigslist, but there are plenty of other ways to connect with other writers. You can search social networking sites like Facebook for groups devoted to writing, or event-sharing sites like Upcoming for writing-related tags. If you have an online presence, it helps to share excerpts of your work when appropriate; please note that some periodicals may count these excerpts as “prior publications”. I will address this topic, and others, in upcoming posts.