A Sense of Belonging

The Main Function of a Writers’ Group

I joined my first writers’ group, Canadian Authors Association, last June. I thought I would go to meetings, listen to speakers and learn more about writing and publishing. I arrived nervous and late for my first meeting. I felt terrible for interrupting the speaker. However, by the end of it, I made a friend, Patricia Sands. We support each other as only writers can support other writers. I didn’t realize at the time that this would be the main function of joining a group.

The Main Benefit

Yesterday, the monthly Writers and Editors Network breakfast meeting took place. Our speakers, Benjamin Gleisser and Carolyn Molnar (Compassionate Message: True Stories From A Psychic Medium), were fun and interesting. But what I got out of the meeting, once again, was the amazing sense of belonging. I touched on this in Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Self-published: Moral Support. It’s great to show up at a meeting month after month, get updates on what everyone’s doing, talk to members I’ve never spoken to before, exchange ideas and business cards, and walk away with lots to think about. It’s so easy to sit at the computer and write, write, write and yet stepping out for a few hours to go to these meetings recharges my battery. Characters and social media can never replace human contact.

What do you get out of your writers’ group? I love to hear from you. Leave a comment.


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  1. #1 by Patricia Sands on May 22, 2011 - 6:23 PM

    Well said, my (now) dear friend! How I value your input, sharing of information and the many hours of conversation when we’ve worked our way through all sorts of challenges and frustrations or celebrated successes. Onward!

  2. #2 by Patricia Caviglia on May 22, 2011 - 2:20 PM

    Is it sad that I noticed your comment so quickly?

    I’m sure you could join a local authors group. You don’t have to be published to join most, just interested in writing.

    Some people are completely different online than they are in person, so I prefer talking to people face to face. Skype can be a good alternative though.

    Can’t wait to read how you resolved your exam studying dilemma.

    • #3 by Sarah Helen Sumner on May 22, 2011 - 2:24 PM

      Haha, well… 😛

      I’m not sure if they have a local group around here actually. I know there’s a group that meet’s up near me during NaNoWriMo, but that’s about it I think. Also, I guess I’d seem a little young at the moment- I think teen writers are, well, I don’t know, but I just feel like we’re still learning so maybe our views won’t be as good/useful *shrugs*

      Haha, I’m supposed to be revising now so I guess that answers that 🙂

      • #4 by Patricia Caviglia on May 22, 2011 - 2:32 PM

        I can tell you that these groups love teen writers because of their fresh (not naive or inexperienced) perspective. There are all sorts of writers from the “I’m just taking creative writing classes in my retirement” to award winning authors. Have look at national or regional groups and find a chapter in your area AFTER you’re done your exams. 😉

  3. #5 by Sarah Helen Sumner on May 22, 2011 - 2:04 PM

    Is it sad that I noticed this new post so quickly? Just saw the link on Twitter.

    I guess the only writer’s group I can claim to belong to is the community in the JulNoWriMo forums. We don’t actually share our novels on the forum, but it’s still nice to talk to other writers about… writerly things.

    While it’s brilliant there, I really can’t wait to start the creative writing part of my degree so I can talk to other writers face to face.

    I guess you’ve experienced it both ways: do you prefer talking to other writers online or in person?

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