Few settings can inspire writers more—or make them even more bitter and resentful—than a writing group. So, what do they have to offer that makes me say that writing groups are worth the risk?
Never mind the practical help you could receive—sometimes it’s nice just to have access to a second pair of eyes and ears. And knowing that you will have to face your audience can be a big motivator.
My first writing group experience was when I wrote bad knockoffs of bad fantasy in third grade. We shared in class every week, and I received glowing reviews . . . from my best friend, my teacher, and a girl with a crush on me.
All these people had plenty of reasons to lie to me or patronize me, but that little trinity really did help my writing. They motivated me and supported me when I wanted to call it quits. And, even more importantly, they made me believe I was a writer because that’s how they saw me.
You may not want advice at first, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the Writing Center, it’s that we all sometimes find ourselves stumped. When that bell tolls for you, remember that other writers can help you see opportunities for improvement. Let your readers know exactly what type of help you need, and you will walk away energized to write.
The biggest benefit, to me, is just the fact that you have to turn something in. Deadlines help me focus on what desperately needs attention to make my document readable.
Of course, a Writing Center consulting session appointment can also provide you with an audience, affirmation, advice, and a deadline. Give us a call (581.5929) or drop by Coleman Hall 3110 and let us know what you would like to focus on.