A supportive and insightful group can help you become a better writer and put you on the path to getting published.
But a disorganized group can squelch your enthusiasm to write and leave you feeling confused.
To stop the writing group headaches before they began, follow these crucial tips.
1. Choose (or start) a group that specializes in your genre.
One of the biggest mistakes most writing groups make is embracing every form of writing you can think of: essays, screenplays, nonfiction, poetry, romance novels, you name it.
On the surface, it sounds like a golden idea. Very open and egalitarian. Everyone can contribute. It’s great, right?
In reality, not so much.
The problem is that when anyone can bring anything, the quality of feedback drops like a rock. Real insights are few and far between, because everyone ends up talking in generalities. No one is a specialist.
Here’s a better idea: team up with writers focused on writing the same kind of thing you write. If you write romance, find a group of romance writers. If you write mystery, find a group of mystery writers.
You’ll get higher quality feedback in a group that’s focused on one genre. Other members will be better educated in current trends, best-selling works, and established conventions in your genre. And that will help you become a better writer.