Archive | 11:43 AM

Library Writers Group: Motivation and Goals

29 Jan

After taking the holidays off, I met with my library based writers group last week. It was a big group, the largest we’ve had since we began meeting. It derailed us a bit from our normal practice, but it was good to see so many faces excited about writing. We had a good theoretical discussion and I wanted to share some of our points with all of you.

Many of the new members wanted different things out of the group. A lot of people are looking for editing help and critique partners. I’ve found mine through a writing group so I have to agree it’s a great place to meet people. Another reason, which I thought was great, was to find help with your weaknesses. We all have weaknesses, maybe grammatically or with an aspect of character development, and a writers group is a good place to find people whose skills can complement your own. The overwhelming reason people were at the meeting was to find community among other people who wanted to write. One member said she was looking for people who would encourage her to write every day. “I need a group of fanatics.” I loved that. What do you want out of your writers groups?

A lot of us were in a lull with our writing and hoped the group could kick us back into gear (I’ll admit that’s part of why I go). We talked about ways to get started again. A great way is to look at things you’ve started before and maybe not finished. Something that you jotted down in your idea notebook or started and abandoned. Trying to pick up the thread of an old thought can get you thinking again. A few people said they read books about writing or writer’s memoirs to inspire them. Sometimes as someone who’s 25, it’s hard to remember that most writers don’t find success until well into their 30s or later. I still have time. Reading other work can be inspiring as well. Reading a book you love or something by an author who inspires you. The main thing we stressed was the accept any amount of time you do get to write. It might be five minutes, but that’s five more than the general population. How do you get yourself out of a writing slump?

We had a good discussion on goals. Why do we write? What are we trying to accomplish? To be honest, a lot of us would love to see our names in print; it’s a sense of accomplishment we’re not going to get in many other forums. It’s also a validation that what you wrote is good and someone wants to read it. Some people write to connect. A member gave an example of a memoir essay she wrote about a disability she’d been struggling with. It brought her a lot of feedback and comments from others who had disabilities they struggled with and allowed her to connect with others who felt the same way. And some of us feel like writing is what we’re called to do. We think that the story inside us needs to be told; needs to be shared with the world. We’ve got to let it out because it’s our duty as writers and we just want to share. Why do you write? What are you trying to accomplish with it?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. It would be great to continue the conversation with y’all!

Until next time, write on.

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