My writing group has created a space where trust and friendship permeate every aspect of our work. It’s a creative family, a safe haven.
We troubleshoot character motivation and excavate plot holes; set goals and cheer each other on; and share manuscripts that represent years of hard work. We play hard. We geek out. I am enormously proud of my friends, so I can’t help but boast a bit about them. They have worked so hard to improve their work as they progress through outline after outline and draft after draft.
Starting a writing group is incredibly easy. At the beginning all it takes is some emails and a coffee shop. Then you ease into your dynamic, not forcing it to take any specific shape. You hang out, find your rhythm, and learn how much you can trust each other with your work. Some writing groups are casual. You don’t need to share all of your work with each other, and you don’t expect others to edit for you unless they specifically offer. You can share or hold back as much as you’re comfortable with. For a tighter writing group, trust is crucial because expectations are higher and critiques are more personal. It can take time to get there, so enjoy the process and keep exploring your community.
Writers need to stick together.