Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

Have you found value in writing groups, either online or offline?


I’ve got a question here for those of you who hang around this site regularly: Do you belong to any sort of writers’ group? Is it an online community or something you attend/visit in person?

I have never belonged to a writers’ group, help group, critique meetings, whatever terms you wish to use in the offline world. I have taken a couple of creative writing courses, both when I was still in school and once as an adult. I attended an interesting and useful weekend writing seminar many years ago that was put on by a very successful mystery writer, Lawrence (Larry) Block. Many years ago, I hung around and gained “honorary housewife” status with a really fun group of people in the very old days of Prodigy online forums called “Housewife Writers.” I still maintain e-mail contact with a member of that group from time to time. (Peach, you out there?)

What about those of you reading this? I brought the subject up because I just visited a very interesting website, “Litopia Writers’ Colony.” And in response to a comment on one of my earlier posts, I made reference to “Helium.com,” a sort of writers’ hangout I did some work with about a year ago.

I have mixed feelings about writers’ groups, mostly based on the few I’ve looked at online and based on comments I’ve read from a couple of published authors. My feeling is 1) I certainly could use honest, helpful critiquing of my writing, and, 2) most of what I’ve seen and heard about writers’ groups is that it’s often too much like “the blind leading the blind.”

But I am very open to the idea of writers’ groups, and I certainly don’t want to prejudice anyone reading this against writers’ groups. In fact, I expect to dust off a writing sample I’ve got somewhere in this disorganized hard drive and take it over to “Litopia Writers’ Colony” and knock on their sign-up door.

So let us all know what you’re experiences have been. Do you belong to a useful, helpful writers’ group? For the convenience of us all, an online group would probably be most interesting. Let us know your experience and your thinking on the whole matter.
[tags]writers’ groups, writing critiques, writers’ colonies, Litopia Writers’ Colony, Helium.com, writing tips at garyspeer.com[/tags]