Today is IWSG Day because it’s the first Wednesday in July. IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page. The purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage, but we’ve added a little zest to the mix. Now, IWSG members are going to answer a question in our post. Today’s question is:
What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?
This is a difficult question for me to answer because I don’t usually share my writing. The compliments I do get come in the form of a review or from a contest judge. When friends read my books and stories, of course, they’ll compliment me. They’re my friends!
Maybe this sort of thing comes from being involved in a good, close writer’s group. You think?
Back in the 70s I wanted to be part of a writer’s group but my hometown didn’t have one. What did I do? Well, I started one, of course. The East Texas Writers Association is still going strong today. The group was fun back in my day. We didn’t have the Internet so we depended on The Writer, Writer’s Digest and Writer’s Market, as well as guest speakers to keep us informed. Also, other writer’s groups. Our members often piled in a car and headed straight down Interstate 20 to Shreveport—about an hour away to visit the Shreveport Writers Club. They judged our contests, critiqued us—encouraged us in every way.
Today, online groups are fantastic. With the Internet, we have instant encouragement with the click of a button—but there’s nothing like a face-to-face group—if it’s a good one.
Here are 6 things you should be getting from your face-to-face writer’s group:
- Resources and Opportunities
- Information relating to the ever-changing market
- Access to critiques if you want/need them
- Warnings about writing/agenting/publishing scams
- Friendship and Fellowship
I went to our local writer’s group here in Lake Charles last Saturday. I learned four things:
- That a new writer has moved to the area—a professional who writes for a couple of the top Christian publishers. I’m excited and hope we can get to know each other.
- That we have some talented writers in the group but I don’t know if there’s a market for what they write. I wonder, with self-publishing booming, is that even a factor anymore?
- That nothing stays the same: the logo, the newsletter title, the bylaws–there’s always someone eager for change. Even the members come and go!
- That J.C. Penny’s was having a great shoe sale, and I hit it big time!
If you have a writer’s group in your town, are you a member? What do you learn from the meetings? Share some details, please.