Find Yourself a Group
By Nancy Churnin
Sometimes a writer gets stuck on a particular manuscript that just won’t seem to work no matter how much you prod, push, pull or tweak it.
It is tempting in those cases to reach out to an experienced author or editor for help. And sometimes that can be just what you need. But when people come to me for advice, the first thing I ask is: Did you show it to your group?
And if they tell me that they don’t have a group, I say, ever so gently: Find one.
Why does a writer need a group? Let me count the ways. Well, a few of the ways. Here are some of the reasons I treasure being part of the Nonfiction Ninja Chicks:
*Many eyes are better than one. Even if the one reader you’ve chosen is incredibly perceptive, one person is not going to catch everything. By sharing with a group you’re getting advice from many readers at once. Sure, some notes may be contradictory and you should always balance the advice with your own strong feelings of your vision for your manuscript. But more often, people in your group are going to agree on certain elements that could be improved and that will help you direct your revision efforts.
*You will learn and feel good about giving help to others. You will be amazed at how much your craft will improve by reading the manuscripts of others in your group and seeing what works, what doesn’t and how you can make things better. Plus, when you get to the place where you are able to give insights and suggestions that are helpful, you will feel really good about making a positive difference in the journey of manuscript that may very well make it into the world with help from you!
*Friendship and support. Writing is a solitary business, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely one. It will lift you up to be part of a group where you can share your moments of disappointment, frustration, delight and joy. Your work is always going to be unique from others in your group because each of us is unique and no one’s voice or passions will be the same as someone else’s. But you and the members of your group are all more likely to grow to where each of you individually needs to go if you share and help each other in your writing journey.
So find yourself a group!
We are nonfiction authors who support readers and writers through our writing, author visits, and workshops.
Disclaimer: The Nonfiction Ninjas are a group of writers with diverse ideas . The views expressed in each post are those of the author and may differ from others in the group.