How to Start a Writers' Group.
Writing is a lonely profession and/or hobby. You're only accompanied by your thoughts and imagination as you work on your laptop for hours.
If you long for the company of like-minded individuals, a writers' group might be your answer.
Depending where you are located, joining an already established writing group might not be possible. If this is the case, maybe you should consider starting your own.
Let's figure out what a writers' group is and how it may assist you and others before we start.
What is a writers' group?
A writers' group is a friendly community of like-minded authors who collaborate to cultivate their writing craft.
A writer's group can assist one another by giving advise, providing information, and even offering constructive criticism to help writers improve their writing abilities.
It's a fantastic chance to meet new people, make connections, find accountability partners, and talk about book topics.
A writers' group can offer moral support and a secure environment in which to talk about any concerns, as well as express your worries about writing.
Now let's jump into how to start a writing group:
1. Set clear goals and objectives for the group
People join a writers' group in order to get assistance. As a result, start a writers' group for the sake of providing a place where writers can obtain help.
Consider why you are establishing this group, as well as your goals for it.
Is it the objective of this group to provide writing advice and inspiration?
Are you seeking for writers to help and keep you accountable?
Is the group open to all writers or only those writing in your field?
Do you want to offer marketing, pitching, and querying commentary?
Do you want to encourage one another to express their experiences?
Do you want to encourage writers to practice writing?
Do you want to engage in discussions about writing, give structured feedback on each other's work, collaborate in the same space, or do any of these things?
After you've chosen the sort of group you want to form, it's time to move on to the next stage.
2. Structure the group and establish rules
To function effectively and avoid problems, every group requires structure. Begin by writing your mission statement and creating a group profile that lists all of the regulations.
Decide who may participate, at what level of writing experience they must have, and what sorts of commitments are necessary from members.
Establish clear rules for how members are chosen and if they will have any formal duties in the group.
Establish firm parameters for how the group will function and establish plainly expressed goals.
Make a decision on how feedback will be given, such as in-person presentations, written mark-ups, or typing out a report. Decide whether you'd like to give oral criticism or constructive comments via email.
Create a critique model. This may be done through comments from members of your group or by developing a model that you believe would work best for your group. Critiquing one of the most difficult things to do, especially if you have to give it to someone on a regular basis.
Perhaps you can choose a system in which everyone reviews each other's work, or perhaps you can set up a system in which only members who want to be criticized will get it.
Determine whether members will provide feedback at each meeting and how much time will be devoted to it.
What to keep in mind when creating feedback rules
Writers' groups frequently have rules that stipulate that participants must concentrate only on the good qualities of the work being evaluated.
This can result in a cohesion among the group, but it might also lead to confusion about what needs to be done to improve. This can lead to stagnation and prevent members of your group from learning and improving, which is usually the objective of writers who join a writers' group.
Consider emphasizing the need for critical feedback in new members, as well as why it's necessary to learn from your mistakes and how to receive negative feedback in a manner that allows you to grow and improve instead of getting enraged by it.
3. Spread the word and get new members
Get the word out to find people for your group. You may establish an online presence on social media like Facebook or LinkedIn to raise awareness. Let your local library know and consider publishing a notice in the newspaper. Leave information about yourself and interested parties might contact you at random places around town, such as stores or cafés.
You can also create a group on Meetup.com, Facebook, or WriteMore so that other writers quickly and easily find your group online.
If you haven't already checked out the Groups feature in WriteMore, you definitely should! WriteMore allows writers to create or join an unlimited number of writing groups. Plus, the real-time feedback system is perfect for writer's to receive critiques.
4. Choose A Meeting Place And Set A Time
Choose a location that is accessible to the majority of individuals. A meeting room in your local library or a cozy nook in a willing bookstore are fantastic options. Many writers' groups meet at one of the members' homes to save money and strengthen ties among members. If meeting in person isn't possible, set up virtual meet ups through Zoom or Google meet.
Set a time for a meeting and establish a regular meeting schedule so that individuals can plan to attend group meetings on a regular basis.
It's also a good idea to establish meeting regulations. Establish clear expectations for the conduct that is expected and how members should prepare for the group.
You may also establish a schedule of activities for the meeting.
Make sure you've got everything your writers' group will need, such as pens, pencils, notepads, and paper.
5. Keep things fun
While you've planned your group for a specific purpose and established all of the norms and restrictions, it's also beneficial to mix things up.
This way, the meeting doesn't get stale, and your members can relax. Consider performing something unusual like experimenting with new writing methods or holding a workshop, going to a book reading, or doing something social such as watching a movie together and discussing it later on.
6. Constantly evaluate your group and what's not working
It's critical to re-examine your group on a regular basis. Even if you have all of your rules and regulations in place, there's a chance that certain members will be dissatisfied. Maybe the schedules aren't suitable for some, or the obligation is just too hard.
Encourage members to provide you with continual feedback so that you may check if the group is adequately meeting the needs of your members. You can't please everyone, but you should always encourage input and be receptive to improvement as you go.
If your group is starting to lose interest or membership is dwindling, reach out to your members for input. Make any necessary modifications to get your writer's club back on track.
7. Don't give up
Don't lose hope that you won't have many individuals join your group after all of your hard work. If you want to see your writer's group succeed, keep at it.
If you want to start a writer's group, keep at it and wait for the hard work to pay off.
Congrats on your writing group
Starting a writers' group may be frightening at first, but if you truly want to do it, go ahead and do it.
As long as you keep your member’s needs foremost and consider their feedback, you will be able to establish a great writer’s group everyone enjoys.