Meet The Authors: 3 Types of Writing Groups
Is it truly possible to lone-wolf your way to success?
Writing might be a largely solo activity, but many writers credit their success largely to the groups of other writers they’ve met and worked with. Your network can help with almost every part of your writing and promotional progress, from brainstorming ideas to accountability while drafting to promotional and newsletter swaps post-publishing.
Technically, you can do the work yourself and have a solo career—but it’s much easier if you have a team of other writers who can hold you up along the way.
In the past, writing groups met in person in cafes or libraries, reviewing and critiquing each others’ works. Those groups are still around, but with the advent of the Internet and social media, far more options are available.
Here are the three options available if you’re ready to build your network, as well as what you can get from each.
In-Person Writing Groups
Many towns and cities already have functioning writing groups that meet on a regular basis. You can find yours by checking online or at potential hangout spots like the public library and asking around. Alternately, you can form your own.
In-person writing groups have the advantage of being in person. You can form deeper relationships with others in your life and commit yourself to an extra level of discipline by blocking out time for those meetings, which gives you a closer bond to your peers and a richer experience.
Free Online Writing Groups
There are so many free online writing groups that you can easily sort them by genre, event, or demographic. These groups, largely but not exclusively found on Facebook, give you a chance to mingle in a loosely structured environment with hundreds or thousands of other writers.
These groups and forums are great for bouncing ideas off of other people, asking advice, or getting quick help when you need it. Commitment is fully optional, so you can join and drop these groups at will as you need them or stay around for the discussion.
Paid Online Writing Groups
Paid online writing groups are member-exclusive groups maintained by an organization, course, or writing coach. Examples could be Romance Writers of America, the Alliance of Independent Authors, and Your First 10,000 Readers. These groups are more structured and intensive than free groups and often not as “social,” being designed to assist in specific areas of writing and publishing instead.
The largest advantage to a paid group, along with professional advice and guidance, is that you get a chance to network with authors who are already successful. This is where you’ll find your best professional partnerships and get your most effective cross-promotions and newsletter swap opportunities.
How do you network with other authors? Share your favorite active groups in the comment section below, or click on the blue button to join my Facebook group for self-publishing fiction authors.