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Monday, October 8, 2012

Group Therapy (for writers)

Sometimes the best way to deal with writing issues is with a group of fellow writers.

I recently attended a local meeting with the regional advisors of our area SCBWI. The main purpose of the meeting was to meet the advisors, but one of the benefits was the camaraderie and encouragement one gets from being with other writers.

Writing is a solitary occupation, and it is all too easy to get discouraged. Interacting with others in the same profession can really provide a spark. If you are stuck in the middle of a story or have put aside writing altogether for more than a short time, other writers know what to say to generate ideas and nudge you into getting back to your story or book.

Group therapy for writers doesn't have to be in person. It can be online too. There are webites and message boards for all kinds of writing. It's a great way to meet and converse with people who know what it's like to work alone, to struggle over one sentence for hours, to blank out just when you're reaching what should be the major turning point in your story.

They are also there to share in the good news, be it major or minor. Just today I found a new four-star review for one of my books on Amazon and a four-star rating for another of my books on Goodreads. The fact that the rating on Goodreads was by a 14-year-old in Portugal made seeing the rating all that much more fun. And when those less than stellar reviews appear, who better to turn to than a group of writers who will know exactly how you feel and how to cheer you up?

So, find a group (or groups) that fit your needs and get (and give) all the therapy you need!

7 comments:

  1. Yes, the writing itself IS lonely. But *we* don't have to be...
    Hooray for the review from a kid in Portugal!

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    1. I second this!

      This is a huge part of what I love working on in coaching sessions: not just the story mechanics but what's going on in the writer's mind, figuring out why they can't move forward. Sometimes it just takes an empathetic ear (belonging, as you mentioned, to a fellow writer), once in a while there's something a little deeper ... and sometimes it just takes time.

      I am so thankful for the writers I've met, online and in-person. They've really helped me through some tough spots!

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  2. I, too, have found lots of solace and celebration with fellow authors online and in person. I have one particular SCBWI conference I look forward to every year with the Eastern PA chapter...which isn't even my geographical home chapter, but I found a home with them.

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  3. I don't know what I would do without my writing friends. They really keep me going (and listen to me vent). How exciting to have someone in Portugal enjoying your book!

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  4. There are some things that only fellow writers get, and having a community can really help keep you from feeling that you ARE crazy.

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  5. Yes, being around other writers is a wonderful thing. I always come back from conferences feeling so good about the writing community. Writers are amazing people. :)

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  6. I totally agree, Ann. I find blogging to give a great feeling of support and community as well. So blessed to have met many kindred spirits online.

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