Some interesting discussions about the value of writers’ groups and whether group think is of benefit to success.

Eric the Gray

[Full disclosure: I do not belong to a writing group]

Writers are often told by the experts to join a writing group. Having other writers critique your work can help you identify your weaknesses and improve your ideas, so the reasoning goes. Therefore, writing groups are good. That makes sense to me.

I’m not convinced it’s true, though. In my recent post about self-doubt, some people commented that they lost their motivation to write or otherwise had their confidence shattered after being bashed by other writers in a writing group. I’ve encountered similar claims in the past.

Speaking broadly, the problem with expert advice in an arts-related field is the lack of supporting science for its validity. How do we know writing groups are necessary? Because an expert said so? Because it seems logical? It’s very possible that, if you took a random sample over an appropriate time frame, a…

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2 thoughts on “

  1. Thanks for the link. It’s an interesting topic. I’ve never been part of a writing group just online forums which I found useless so quit. Someone recently suggested I try a workshop. What’s the difference between a group and a workshop?

    • In my experience, workshops tend to be short intensive periods…like a weekend of 8-hour days…while a writers’ group may meet weekly or monthly for a few hours at a time.

      As well, workshops tend to be led by professionals, while writers’ groups tend to be led, if led at all, by whoever is the bossiest person in the room. 😉

      Like I say, though, that is just my experience.

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