Having a Writing Circle

A lot of people, many writers included, ar eunder the impression that writing is a solitary activity. Especially with the novel coronavirus situation getting more serious, I’ve seen a few people joking about how they’re going to get so much writing done now that the CDC is recommending social distancing (Let’s be honest though; none of us are going to get more writing done. We’re all going to sit in our underwear playing video games and eating frozen pizza, and we all know it). And while a significant part of the writing process is best done solo, if you want to improve your craft or get your work published, you’re going to want to be involved with a writing circle.

Most successful writers will tell you that they’re part of a writing group or circle. Even if it’s nothing official, they’ll more than likely have a few friends with whome they critique and talk about their writing. Giving, and receiving, criticism is an important step in the writing process.

A piece of writing is not complete until someone besides the author has taken a look at it and told the author what’s wrong with it. And that someone isn’t always right. That’s why it takes a group, not just a partnership. A writing group has more variety of perspectives and opinions than just two people, and can offer more suggestions for revision that just one other person might not have thought of. Not to mention, one person might not “get” a piece of writing, and will be unable to give helpful advice, whereas that same piece of writing will click with another person who can help with the revising process.

But critiques and revision aren’t the only reasons to have a writing circle. Humans are by nature social creatures, and sometimes you just need a little encouragement to get shit done. Or a good kick in the ass. A writing circle fulfills both those functions. And while it does seem that we’re all about to get some more alone time than we’re accustomed to, let’s not forget the importance of getting together to do something.


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