Thursday, August 31, 2017

Benefits of a Writers Group

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?





Janelle Moore lives in Toowoomba, Queensland with her husband and two teenagers. She writes devotions and hopes to publish her own devotion book next year.  She is forever indebted to her Quirky Quills friends.

19 comments:

  1. Loved your post Janelle. Thank you for sharing. You've mentioned all the benefits and what a lot of them. But you didn't mention the food - from what I've seen you guys celebrate your birthdays as well! :) I loved it that you started off as a writers group and now you are much more than that - a friendship group as well. From what I've seen of the Quirky Quills, it's been one of those really positive, enabling, fun-filled writers groups - I'm so pleased I was once called an honarary member! :) I wondered if God was leading me to start a writer's group a few years ago, but due to ill health decided it wasn't to be. I do believe very passionately in the power of small groups and yes, we writers do need each other don't we? Delighted to hear you hope to publish your book of devotions next year Janelle. Looking forward to reading it!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Anusha. It is a privilege to have you as an honorary QQ member��. How I forgot to mention birthdays and food I'll never know! Yes we do all need each other and I am blessed to have both QQ and CWD. Thank you for your commitment to CWD and for the time and effort you invest.

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  2. Thanks Janelle, you are absolutely right! I love CWD for all those reasons. I really enjoy the friendship on the road trip of life with CWD-ers...we sure need it in this crazy world of valleys and high places.

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    1. Thanks for your response Di. Yes we certainly do need each other on our writing journey and our life journey.

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  3. I find CWD a real help. Also for three years - about 2001-3 - I hosted a small writers group and those years were very fruitful for me in my writing. Fun too.

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    1. Fruitful and fun - a great combination Jeanette. Thanks for your comment.

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  4. Thanks Janelle. It's been fantastic having you in Quirky Quills. What would we do without our servant-hearted listener? It's been wonderful seeing you grow in confidence, and the devotions you write touch people's hearts in a very special way. I look forward to nagging you (oops encouraging you) in your writing journey for many years to come and look forward to learning heaps from you. You really do inspire people and speak wisdom into their lives more than you know :)

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    1. Thanks Nola, for your comment, your continual encouragement ( I didn't even say nagging), your patience and input into my life. Where would I be without you?

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  5. I'd like to reiterate Nola's comments, and add my agreement to everything you've said, Janelle. I think the bond of honesty forged as we shared and honed our writing skills together has been invaluable. Being able to trust others with the ups and downs of our writing journey (which so often reflects our life journey) is a blessing and a privilege. Inspiration wrapped in friendship - that's really special.

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    1. Thank you Mazzy. Well said. You're right about trusting others. Having a safe place to share has helped me be vulnerable - which had been a challenge. Thank you for the part you play in this.

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  6. Thank you Janelle, for this wonderful post. I have been envious (in a good way) of those who are members of Quirky Quills for a while now. At times I wish I could move interstate, for a variety of reasons. Probably the main reason would be that the cost of living in New South Wales is so high. Sometimes I dream of moving to Adelaide, and on other occasions I imagine myself living in Queensland. I have tried a couple of writers' groups, but found they didn't click with me, and sadly the reason was that they were not Christian groups. With age I am becoming more set in my ways, I can't go somewhere I don't feel 100% comfortable. I shall continue searching for a group suited to my needs, but I'm not holding out much hope. There was a group at the base of the Blue Mountains, and they seemed friendly enough, however the coordinator was leaving, and the group was looking for another fearless leader. Sadly while I may have time to attend a writing group, I wouldn't be able to handle the responsibility of running one. All the reasons you point out here for being in a writing group are sensible and sound. I guess I shall keep looking :-)

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    1. Thanks for your comments Josephine-Anne. All the best in your search for a suitable local writers group. I, like you, certainly prefer a Christian group. If you do ever decide to move to Queensland, come here to Toowoomba, so you can join us at QQ. How blessed I am to be part of it, and to also have CWD.

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  7. Yes to all the above, Janelle. I wish I had the experience of belonging to a smaller group besides this writer friendly group. You can talk face to face and that's obviously a great benefit. We've all learned so much in our writing journey.

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    1. Thanks for your response Rita. Yes it is great to have the face to face contact. And I agree we have learned so much...... and still have much more to learn. A never ending process.

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  8. As much as I appreciate CWD I do need the face-to-face of my local writers' group, too. Wouldn't want to be without either example of the genre!

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    1. Thanks Rhonda. I understand what you are saying, as I wouldn't want to be without QQ or CWD either.

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  9. What an encouraging post, Janelle, and what a joy to share in the writing journeys of others. Writing can be such a solitary occupation at times, it can make all the difference knowing there are a bunch of other writers cheering on the sidelines.

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    1. Thanks Adele. It is indeed wonderful to be part of that cheer squad. And thank you for cheering me on so patiently over the years.

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  10. Yes, yes, yes.
    Due to geographical constraints I can't be in a group that meets but 3 of us 'newbies' get together on skype and encourage, share, spur on, read each other's work ...

    I'm still hoping to find some CWD members who are writing contemporary fiction and in the early stages of their career (not majoring on romance). Hoping to do cross-promotions in the future if I can find some suitable people.

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