I’ve been a member of several writer groups for about a year and perhaps 6 months in others. When I first join a group, depending on the size, I introduce myself (smaller always, larger only sometimes). Then I devour the postings like it’s going out of style. I dive deep.
Sometimes I dive so deep, I get overwhelmed. Other times I dive so deep I no longer care to read posts from the group and let it alone for a while.
At some point with most groups, I take a break.
When I rejoin, I’m less involved. Maybe I’ve learned more and the group doesn’t add as much value to my experience.
Part of this is how feed algorithms work. Part of it is my inherent interest.
But recently, I discovered something.
One of the areas where I am really strong is resilience and self-love. I’ve got that on lock now. It’s part of who I am. In fact, it’s such a part of who I am, when a few pieces got rejected in a row last week (and the week before that), I acknowledged it, and moved on to the next thing with very little thought. In fact, I didn’t mention it to anyone except in a writer group, and then, as an illustration as to how rejection doesn’t indicate a writer’s worth.
I write this here because while writing is by nature an isolating experience, it is shared. More importantly, no matter where you are in your writing journey, being part of a group is helpful. It gives perspective as to where you are in your journey and shows you what contributions you do make.
I have no idea how helpful my words are to group members. That isn’t the point. When I do chime in, I have been prompted by my gut (that helpful abdominal friend I wrote about here). Because of my reason for sharing, I know those words are helpful to someone (possibly myself included!). That’s all I need to know to continue.
When I started these group memberships, I was always the one seeking answers and assistance. Now I find I’m giving encouragement and sharing wisdom.
This is an unexpected surprise. When I began I thought I had nothing to offer the group, but now I realize I have a very specific voice that is distinct in these groups. And this is part of the contribution I make to them, as well as clarifying where I am in my journey.
I wouldn’t have known this without participating in my writer groups. In every part of my writing journey, I’ve gained something from these groups, and I’m sure you will too.
If you’re interested in joining another writer group, come join Intentional Writers! It’s for anyone who recognizes the importance of words and ideas for positive change. Connect, write, get feedback, and amplify your message!
Also, leave a comment about your experience with groups below! I’d love to find out about others’ experiences!
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