I consider myself very fortunate to have found and belong to a great writers’ group. I had to search for it and I encountered many groups that seemed to waste my time and others that were not a good fit for me. Yet, I kept looking because I knew I needed the friendship and fellowship of fellow writers. Then one day I struck gold. I found a group that offers so much for all writers. It didn’t matter the age, the experience, or the genre, they are there for everyone one of us writers.
When I started writing, and one of the things that has held me back until now, was not knowing “the ropes of the writing business.” Oh, I read about it. I devoured magazines like Writers Digest, the Writer, and Poets and Writers. If you do not read these magazines and you want to write, I strongly suggest you read Writers Digest and the Writer. I am still like a school boy who has just been blown a kiss by the most beautiful girl in class when these magazines arrive. However, they only took me so far. I found I personally needed to talk and network with other writers who had been there, share encouragement with those who struggle, and really have the door pried open.
In truth, I still do. I am fortunate to have found the Saint Louis Writers Guild (SLWG). It was an accidental discovery. Not every writing group is like them, but I want to share a little about what they have done for me and maybe others who read this blog and want to write can know what possibilities exist. The website to SLWG is www.stlouiswritersguild.org. Take a look at the website and you can see everything I am discussing here.
SLWG has given me monthly workshops that may not always be on the style of writing I do, but I have never walked away without some gem of information that I can use in my writing. It has a lecture every other month that provides the same effect. It has two open mic nights to share our work. It has critique circles and critique partners. It is, as I have mentioned, comprised of writers of all levels and styles. I go to the events looking forward to being able to share and discuss one of the two topics I can spend hours discussing. I have learned more about writing in one year with SLWG than I did in any of my high school or college writing courses. It has taken the core of what I learned from books and magazines on writing and made them the supplement to what I have learned. Writers, editors, and agents are the speakers at our workshops and lectures. Often I come from one of these events and feel that I have attended a mini-writers’ conference.
If you are serious about writing and you don’t know where to start, look for a group like SLWG—or if you are in the Saint Louis Metro area, come to an event or two and see what SLWG offers.