Are writers groups truly useful in getting you published? Now that’s a good question. I do think groups can be extremely helpful especially if you are a newbie. While the bloom is still on, an aspiring pre-published writer needs to connect with others for support and encouragement. Learning together can be a big asset. To critique each other’s work not only helps the giver learn skills but also the receiver too. Then there are links to publishers, online writing workshop/classes and contact with others who write. Members can share a bunch of knowledge with each other. Some do form lasting friendships.
It all sounds wonderful. But as several more experienced writers have discussed recently, there is usually a downside as well. One of the biggest problems I’ve encountered with new writers groups is many aspirers don’t persist. After a while, they lose interest in writing. Their every day life gets in the way of publishing dreams. Or they just don’t want to put out the effort, endure all the rejections and continue the persistence it takes to get there. It could take several years depending on the market you target. Instant publication is not the norm.
Any one who has remotely touched on the business side of this industry knows well that marketing plays a key role in the life of a writer. Some don’t enjoy this side and may be discouraged by it.
Face it-- there are hundreds, even thousands of distractions out there to discourage us from reaching our goals. Not to mention ye ole writers block! The adage ‘persistence pays’ should become the song of all writers.
When bestselling and oft-quoted Joe Konrath said, “There is a word for a writer who never gives up— published.” He wasn’t kidding. The man knows. He claims to have amassed some 400 rejections before he got his first yes. Now that’s top notch persistence!
Many of my friends who visit here are already successfully published authors. But there is always a new crop waiting for sage advice. With that said, here are some questions to ponder:
What advice would you more experienced writers give a newbie? For the aspiring among us, what would you like to ask those who have been where you are now?