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A writing group for you: Editor's Notes #228
January 31, 2017

One thing I've learned through all the ups and downs
is that if you're doing things right, then you have a core group of people.
Not just a core group like your homies or your buddies,
but a group of people that has a good influence on you,
who you respect and admire, and you know that if they're on your side,
you're doing something right. 

--Hope Solo

In this issue:

1. A writing group for you
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Writing prompt

1. A writing group for you
A recent email got me thinking about writing groups and which might be the writing group for you.

The group I have been most familiar with is a writing group that exchanges critiques. Everyone comes with some writing, and everyone comments on the writing that is shared.

A variation is the writing group where one person is considered the expert and is often paid a small fee. Others comment, but the expert ties things together and has the last say.

The email I received this week was promoting a "Just Write" group. Writers meet up at a local coffee shop, check in with each other, and then sit down to write. No talking, no critiquing, just writing in the company of other writers.

In researching for this issue, I found two other types of groups. The first is a talking support group. Writers in these groups do not share their writing, but do share their experiences being writers. For example, they could chat about marketing, or how to handle distractions from work. Some of these groups are large online forums, but others can be smaller and local.

The last writing group is an accountability group. Again, there is not necessarily any sharing of the actual work. Instead, writers set goals and are accountable to the group to meet those goals. This type of group can work very well online because goal-setting and checking in does not have to be at a specific time. But again, this could also be a local group.

Some groups share features of two or more of the writing groups in this list.

Only you know which type writing of group is most likely to meet your needs. If you don't find one in your area, do what the woman who emailed me is doing. Put out some feelers and start a group yourself.

PS. Librarians often know where the closet writers are.


2.Tickled my funnybone
Another offering from a church bulletin:
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done.


3. Interesting Web site
This Web page lists famous writing groups in history.

4. Writing prompt
I call this one writing partners. It can be a short exercise, or could become something much longer.

Find a partner to join in this activity. This could be another writer you know or a spouse, child, or friend. All you need is willingness.

One of you writes a paragraph and then passes it on to the other person who adds a paragraph and passes it back. You can pass this back and forth for a stated number of times or keep going until one of you runs out of steam or until you believe you have a complete piece of writing. It's up to you and your partner how quickly you want to pass the work back and forth and how many rounds you want. I strongly suggest you do not critique your partner's writing. This is just a prompt to see what you can come up with.

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