Wednesday, May 6, 2015

When Your Writers Group Grows Up

I'm in a group that has had a sudden explosion of success. With one writer (out of five) having published a few books now, and two others recently finding agents, the need of the group is changing. We still do the standard critiques, but it has changed. There's sometimes more time pressure, or at least one writer is too busy making a deadline to dedicate much time to a traditional group in a certain week.

With these kinds of changes and under these kinds of pressures, some groups might collapse. Not us. We're changing though. We're more about support, providing feedback when needed and not necessarily in scheduled get-togethers, cheering each other on, pushing each other to write in scheduled or impromptu writing sprints, and encouraging the two members who are still trying to join the success party.

This creates some growing pains, but we've been together long enough that, so far, we've weathered the changes. It's almost a new group with the same people, and we continue to make adjustments so we can keep helping each other. It's been interesting to watch, and it will continue to be interesting as the group matures and evolves in the face of success.

For those of you who have been through similar changes in your groups, what advice do you have? How have maturing and success affected your groups?


Andrea Mack said...

This happened to my group - four of the six members have agents and are published. We no longer have a regular critique schedule, but are there for each other when someone needs a read through or feedback. I think it's important to be flexible!

Bruce Luck said...

Sounds like some wonderful people you meet with. My current group is fantastic, too, but not quite 2 years old so we haven't had much change yet.

Yamile said...

I love our group, Scott! it's been so much to grow together and to be able to change our working style to accommodate our changing situations. I'm looking forward to many years ahead with my dear Sharks and Pebbles!

Julie Daines said...

Best group ever! You are all some of my dearest friends and my greatest support in my writing life. I love our group!