The act of forming a writing group will not produce one that actually works; you need to find the right structure.

A writing group often emerges from frustrations — over never being able to get a project to completion, over how to find time for writing, over how to best convey what you’re trying to say. But simply being in a writing group is not enough. Your group has to provide the right kind of motivation, support, and intellectual quality. To do that, it should be governed by a few inviolable rules that are mutually agreed upon. For example:

  • Schedule a time every week for writing group, block off that time on your calendar, and do not cancel it for last-minute meetings. This time has to be as important as a class.
  • If it is your week to distribute writing, then you must circulate something. There is no backing out. No skipping and no trading places. You are trying to make writing, and the sharing of your writing, a regular routine.
  • The responsibilities of writing group do not rest simply with the person circulating the writing. Other members of the group are equally responsible for reading and commenting carefully.

Continue reading:The Rules of Writing Group,” by Claire P. Curtis

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