Why Not A Writers' Group?
Maybe because I’m a writer too, I wince when I read a scathing review. I know the work it takes to put words together. But it also takes a few personal characteristics, the most significant being the desire to write, so much so that you are willing to forego other pleasures to make that commitment. It also takes a love of language, enhanced by studying the work of the great ones and experimenting to express your own imagination. And it takes a willingness to master the rules of grammar so that others can appreciate your work.
I classify the other attributes as ones you can learn, such as research skills so you can punctuate your writing with facts and organization skills so you can keep track of your drafts and the work you submit. Perhaps the most difficult quality to nurture is the ability to accept and learn from criticism, even rejection. I believe the best way to acquire that thickened skin is through a writers’ group. Joining a group was counter-intuitive to me because I think of writing as a solo endeavor, but the enthusiasm, encouragement, information, and support from like-minded people can sustain you over the rough spots all writers face.
So, how can you find an appropriate writers’ group, one at your level and with your interests and objectives? Ask around at the community groups you already belong to--that’s always a good way to start--and look online, where there are hundreds to choose from. I prefer a group of three or four, local people so that we can meet in person at least some of the time, and those who write in my genre, mystery fiction. What about you?