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Why Getting Together with Other Writers Is Important

May 25, 2014

getting togetherI went to my first writing workshop the other day and I wonder what took me so long.

I realize now what I’d been missing.

Getting together with a group of writers I haven’t met before has so many benefits, I don’t know where to start.

Ok, let’s start! Here’s 4 good reasons to go to meetup.com (or wherever) and sign up for a writing workshop right away!

1. A Meeting of Like Minds

Finally, you can go to a place where other people–strangers, even–nod their heads in agreement when you bemoan difficult characters and unwieldily word counts. Such validation! I am not alone!

“Hey, are you writing historical fiction? I’m writing historical fiction, too! Awesome!”

2. Break Time Networking

I expected to learn a lot from the presenters (Brian Henry/Carly Watters, who facilitated the event I went to) but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the learning kept on going…right into ‘break times’.

Lunch and break times gave the participants a chance to chat. During this time, I met writers who shared similar interests or had writing group info, website suggestions, suggestions for critiquing, etc.

This was, to my mind, invaluable ‘extra learning’! Bonus!

3. Confidence

There is definite value in putting oneself out there as ‘a writer’. Signing up for a writing workshop makes you identify as ‘a writer’. There is no hiding it.

At this particular workshop, we were also invited to introduce ourselves and explain our writing interests to the group.

How often do you get to say: ‘Hi, I’m Julie, I’m writing a historical novel set in the Regency period?’ I don’ know about you, but in my ‘real life’: rarely.

4. Camaraderie

I supposed I could’ve felt intimidated by a roomful of other writers who were writing books and were thus, in some sense, my ‘competitors’ for publishing.

But, truly, what I felt was writerly ‘warm and fuzzy’.

We were in the same boat. We were striving, collectively, to write our passion, our truth, our heart’s desires.

Writers are the classic example of the ‘crazy dreamer’. We scribble in between taking care of kids and parents, in between relationships, friendships, careers. We write in notebooks, on laptops, in cars and at restaurant tables.

There was a strong sense of shared purpose.

So, fellow writers, if you haven’t already, get thee to a writing workshop and experience the camaraderie of shared writer torment, I mean, writer bliss!

Go on! Do it!

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