To join or not to join? That's a question I have asked myself numerous times over the course of my writing career and I must say I'm glad I finally approached a fellow writer friend who has a writer group and asked if they had room for one more. They have graciously accepted me, and I went to my first meeting this morning!
I have waited WAAAAYYY too long to do this. Here's the thing with me. Writing is very solitary. I am not a solitary person. There is nothing introverted about me. I love people. I yak a lot. When I need a recharge, I feel better after spending time with friends and family. My husband, (thank the stars), is also a yakker, and I am able to bounce ideas off of him and enjoy a unique friendship with him that I cherish.
Anyway, yes, writing is very solitary. I find my enthusiasm, energy, drive, etc. lagging when I spend too much time alone with it. I always come home from signings or other writing activities feeling recharged. But often, especially lately, they've been far and few between. This group is just what I've needed to do to keep me on track and motivated.
If you're considering the value of joining a writers group, try to find one with people who will encourage as well as offer kind, constructive criticism. This is crucial. For me, anyway. I suspect for most of us. I feel so lucky to have landed in a good group of people. They're so kind to allow it- sometimes when you're part of a group you don't really want the dynamics to change by adding someone new, and I'm glad they're willing to take the risk.
Find yourself a group! Whether you like to read or knit or quilt or scrapbook or make shoes or eat sunflower seeds...it's nice to connect with like-minded people. Give it a try!