It Takes a Village: The Benefits of Writing Groups

it-takes-a-villageHere at Heart-Shaped Glasses, we’re not just authors who blog together, we’re family.

We started as a private online critique group which has evolved into so much more. Yes, there’s critiquing, which is invaluable. Especially when it’s from people who focus just as much with what’s right as what’s not working. I trust these ladies with my precious stories, I trust their experience, which probably (added together) is a lifetime of writing.

I love that we all bring something different to the table. We each have strengths and weaknesses, not only in our writing but in our critique styles. I’m constantly learning. 

The next best thing about being part of a great writer’s group? The cheerleading. We’re all at different places in our careers, going down different paths of publishing, writing different genres. But the support we give each other transcends all those things. 

I get hurrahs when I succeed at something, even if it’s meeting my wordcount, and sympathy when things are going rough.

Which brings me to my next point on why writer’s groups (the right ones) are awesome: trust. It takes trust to upload a first draft for critique. It requires trust to say, “Hey, I’m having a rough time in my life right now, and this is why.” And I’ve never, ever seen anything shared in that private group shared anywhere else. It’s like a vault. A vault of caring, kindness, and support.

We’re not accepting new members right now, but don’t worry. Your perfect writing group is out there somewhere. Here are some articles on finding and getting the most from writing groups. Read all about them, then find your perfect writing home.

Tell us about your experience in writer’s groups. Has it been more positive, like mine, or do you have horror stories?


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About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

11 Responses to It Takes a Village: The Benefits of Writing Groups

  1. Julie says:

    Loved this post, Lori!

  2. Thanks so much, Julie. 😊
    Lori Sizemore recently posted…Rules I Live By: The Third Child Has It BestMy Profile

  3. Hi Lori,

    So many great nuggets in your post that I found myself nodding with. “I love that we all bring something different to the table. We each have strengths and weaknesses, not only in our writing but in our critique styles. I’m constantly learning.” Your comments on trust are spot on, too. I’d even say that, for me, the support is often more important than the feedback, because it is a journey — both the writing and the balance of it all.

    Thanks for sharing the link to my guest blog post with Jane Friedman!

  4. Pingback: Me, Elsewhere: Writing Groups

  5. Anni Fife says:

    Hey, Lori. Loved your post. I’m not part of a writing group, but I think my fellow authors at TWRP probably give a similar support. They are crazy amazing and so generous with their time. Best, Anni. xx
    Anni Fife recently posted…Random Notes From A Debut AuthorMy Profile

  6. I totally agree with you, Anni. Support comes in lots of forms.

    Thanks for stopping by–I loved your Random Notes from a Debut Author post.
    Lori Sizemore recently posted…Me, Elsewhere: Writing GroupsMy Profile

  7. I have always wanted to be part of a group but after years have never found one that last or worked for me. My first group was filled with MFA’ers (bar me) and I was the only one who wrote consistently. The others included a cat lady, a woman who sat on a bed, a man whose wife sat in all the meetings to keep an eye on us gals… and so on. I am going to check out your links.

  8. I wrote a reply and my phone ate it, Brenda.

    What I said (if I remember correctly): I’m sorry you’ve had such a terrible time with writing groups, although I do love your description of some of the characters you met.

    I hope you find the right fit fit you soon!

    By the way, I always enjoy your posts and your site design is gorgeous.
    Lori Sizemore recently posted…Spotlight: Bewitched by Nancy FraserMy Profile

  9. Great post! Groups of writers, especially romance writers I think, are full of incredibly supportive, compassionate people. We learn so much and draw such support from each other–in the good and the bad times. So glad to be part of PCers with you, Lori, and so excited for your debut! 🙂

  10. Thank you, Marin. I’m excited that you’ve got your next book coming out just five days after mine.

    Another one of the perks of being in such a great group of writers is getting to read awesome stories and I loved yours.
    Lori Sizemore recently posted…Cover Reveal: Infamous – Coming 12.14.16My Profile

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