If you are reading this, you are obviously part of a writers group, a large Christian writers group that has over 900 members. This being the case, you are no doubt aware of the benefits of being involved with such a cohort. As well as being part of this large body of writers, I am also a member of a small local gathering, Quirky Quills which consists of seven of us. For any of you that aren’t connected with a small group I would encourage you to join one if at all possible.
I joined Quirky Quills almost a decade ago, and without these ladies, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today. In fact if it weren’t for the Quills, I still wouldn’t have put pen to paper. So, I am definitely an advocate of small groups. How have we benefited from meeting as a small group?
Encouragement I am sure that each and every one of us has at times struggled on our writing journey. We may have doubted our ability, been unsure of our ideas, lost the vision and shelved our writing dreams. We have all faced obstacles. Whatever our issues, knowing that others believe in us can give us the courage to persevere. A little bit of encouragement goes a long way.
Confidence With the support of others who share a similar passion, we will find that our confidence increases. As we share our writing in a safe, caring environment, we cultivate our gifting and become more self assured.
Inspiration Watching others develop their craft has been inspirational. I’ve seen group members grow as writers, publish their books, renew their passion for writing, etc. and this has sparked a sense of hope. Maybe I too could learn more, be more self disciplined, go to that conference, publish the book I’ve long dreamed of.
Knowledge We are all at different stages in our writing journeys, and those who have blazed a trail have knowledge and wisdom to share with those who are following in their footsteps. Such knowledge can be in any area related to writing, be it editing, publishing, marketing, expertise in different genres, etc. We all have knowledge that others could profit from.
Information Maybe someone in the group has researched submission dates for different publications. Or another person may discover a workshop or conference that may interest others. At times, we probably all come across information that would be useful for other members of the group.
Feedback Having others critique our work is invaluable. It is important to be open to constructive criticism, and to allow people to speak into our lives. And it is equally important to be honest and kind when reviewing each other’s work.
Friendships Quirky Quills has grown from a writers group to a friendship group. We share our writing journeys and also our life journeys. How wonderful it is to belong to a group of Godly women, who have each other’s best interests at heart, both in the literary world and in the ‘real’ world.
How about you? Do you have the opportunity to join a smaller writers group? Maybe you could instigate a local gathering of authors? What can you contribute to help build a successful local writers group?