This time of year, everyone’s thinking about getting together. What, you thought I meant for Thanksgiving? Nope, it’s PiBoIdMo and NaNoWriMo time! (I love both events, but they sound like something Robin Williams talked about on the way-back sitcom, Mork & Mindy.)
I’m not doing either this year – though I should, though I’ve done both in the past. Instead, I’m focusing on meeting my commitment to my critique group, which means producing new pages for them to critique and doing a good job of reviewing their work. We’ve a new member, and it’s been great having another voice in the group, especially since one of our members left earlier this year to move to France.
This week’s post from Joanna Roddy at Project Mayhem does a good job of outlining why a writing group is important and how to start and work with one. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve joined groups already in place, but if I hadn’t found my current one (thanks to a wonderful writing buddy), I’d have started up my own.
Roddy is focused on in-person groups, but I’ve found that online groups can be just as good, given a few constraints. An online group must be well-moderated, members must be contributing regularly, and all should be in agreement on the length and type of submissions. You don’t all have to be writing the same types of work, but you all need to agree on the basics, just as in an in-person group.
The only downside to writing partners or groups is that finding one is a lot like dating. Some work out, some don’t, and some make for really funny stories once you’ve found your soul mate(s). 🙂
That’s where events like PiBoIdMo and NaNoWriMo can help, as well as events sponsored by SCBWI and other writers’ associations. You might as well mix and mingle, because you just might meet the writing buddy of your dreams…
So let’s get together! Writing is wonderful, but solitary, and it never hurts to connect with other writers for feedback, fun, and friendship.