A lot of people, me included think that just about everybody
has at least one book in them. Drawing it out and into print
can be a real challenge though. Writing a book has all sorts
of rules that nobody except authors need to worry about. It’s
been generations since you’ve been in a classroom and
you really don’t want to go back. So how do you learn
about all this stuff?
answer just might be joining a writer’s group. The typical
group is made up of both published and unpublished writers
and they’re all willing to share their experiences and
even their secrets. Depending on the size of the group you
hook up with, you should see a pretty good cross section of
the overall writing community. The group that I belong to
has a number of published authors, a former newspaper editor,
a couple of school teachers, a graphic designer, a photographer,
and several aspiring writers. And we’re in a rural community.
At our meetings we discuss techniques as well as guidelines
and offer critiques of each others work. From time to time
we offer prompts, usually three random words for members to
build a story around and then compare them at a later meeting.
But most of all we offer one another our support.
member of our group came to us with just his father’s
prisoner of war journals from the Second World War and a Will
Rogers knack for story telling. The guy had no real writing
experience but had an inspiring story to tell from the perspective
of a survivor as well as those who worried about him from
their stateside homes. All of us in the writer’s group
pitched in with whatever we could offer and the result was
a fascinating book titled Fortresses that continues to sell
at a very respectable pace.
Writer’s groups are easy to find on line and are usually
associated with your local library. Many do not charge any
dues and are quite informal. All are welcoming. If you’re
interested in writing or only curious, I’d strongly
recommend hooking up with your local group.