Writing is a fairly solitary craft unless you are one of those special writers who is able to co-write. (I have no idea how you guys do that!) Mostly, writers sit and work alone (the voices in your head do not count) - hour after hour and day after day. Sure, we all play on social media and have lots of Facebook friends and Twitter followers and etc--but the writing is done ALONE.
Most of the time, I think the loneliness is okay. But I do think having an inner circle of sorts can really help. How many of you have CP (critique partners)? They really help--not only with polishing your work and telling you that your heroine is TSTL, but they help with the loneliness writing can sometimes bring on.
One thing that I have found really helps even more than a remote CP is belonging to a good old fashioned writing group. These groups have been around since before the internet was popular and before you could email your manuscript to someone across the country or the world and get an opinion in a day. With a writing group, you are stuck with people in your own town, for better or for worse.
I've been in quite a few writing groups. I've seen writers who just want attention, who just want a date, and who want all kinds of other things. I've finally fallen into a great group of writers and we have a pretty darn good group. We meet most every Tuesday for about two and a half to three hours and critique.
Do we all write the same genre? Heck no! We are all pretty different in our writing styles and our backgrounds! We range in age from early thirties to mid-forties. We are all races, both genders, different religions/no religion, different political parties--but we are all writers. Yeah, we probably all complain about each other at some point, like old married couples. But we keep meeting, and talking about writing and other topics. We go out to eat occasionally. Once a month, we talk about plot and out writing goals. We plan to do a writing retreat. We fuss at each other and motivate each other and support each other when one of us has a bad week.
In such a lonely pursuit, it is so wonderful to be able to get together--even when it is just to complain.
How about you? Have you belonged to a writing group before? Did you enjoy it?