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Joining Writers' Groups

The apprenticeship of writing is continuous. The novice writer must find a community of writers who are working to improve their craft and to get published. While the writer reserves the right not to let anyone read his work in progress, sharing what he is working on with like-minded souls can prove beneficial. Novice writers have that spark of optimism that keeps them going. A writers’ group will have members coming from different backgrounds, each one with his own set of capabilities, interests, and pet peeves. A community of writers can provide new insight into a writer's work that the writer has never considered or thought of before. In the same manner, you, as the writer, can offer your critical insights to others.

We have all heard of real stories about famous writers with huge egos. Imagine how more celebrated writers they would have become if they had not let vanity, pride, and conceit override their sentiments. Learning to set your ego aside is an essential lesson for the inexperienced writer. A healthy degree of sensitivity is fine. But when it bars any opportunity for the young writer to learn something new, then it becomes a hindrance to the writer’s growth. Writing is a quest, and the writer needs to be tempered with humility and strength on his way to success. If a writer fails to cultivate the necessary virtues that will arm him on his quest, he becomes vulnerable to irrational responses to any stimuli pertaining to his craft. The writer will find it difficult to see through his writing. He denies himself of the opportunity to hear out critical assessments that come from outside parties.

Writers’ groups and communities offer a sense of identity. A writer does not have to go on a quest alone. Loneliness is typical in a vocation that calls for solitude and concentration. Once in a while, the writer must emerge from his shell and connect with other writers, not only for the purpose of critique but also for that much-needed moral support. Writers are pained enough to hear disdain and condescension from those who do not write, who have no idea what struggles a writer has to go through to write a great piece. Non-writers may even see the writer as an artist as an oddball. Then again, it is sometimes more difficult to be normal when you are behaving like everyone else.

The sense of belonging and identity is what a beginning writer needs—to sustain him and to keep him encouraged. Being a part of a group with the same quest steers the writer away from disheartening avenues and leads him instead to a goal worth pursuing. The writer becomes a part of a group with a noble cause that continues an age-old tradition of storytelling and chronicling facts.

The inexperienced writer must keep a healthy degree of pride but must temper it with humility. He will need it by the time he receives his first rejection, and his second, and his third.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Vincent Dublado