Independent Writing from an Independent Mind

Open discussion about writing and reading

Why it is good for authors to meet up…

I have been involved with an authors’ meet up for some time now.  It is a very off and on thing and as all groups go it has some falling outs with the members, mainly over structure of the group and what we are to do.  Personally, it is very hard for writers to put much structure into any such group unless they are all of the same genre, mindset and caliber.  Our group, the Bangkok Writers Guild, is a very informal group made up of mainly expatriates.  Some of us are very satisfied where we are in our status whereas others want to hit it big – have a blockbuster to make their name, so to speak.  Personally, I don’t feel the need to do this because the books that I have written are unique in their own right.  You won’t find many books debunking the Vatican Islam Conspiracy, nor will you find many books on bawdy Southern humor either.

That being said, if you plan to join such a group as ours I think you will find a great camaraderie with your fellow authors.  There is much to be learned from them and there is much to teach them as well.  For instance, unless you are in a major city full of authors and author wannabes, like New York City, per se, then your group will most likely be a rag tag group like ours.  But this is great!  We have writers in our group who are non-published, self-published, vanity published and traditionally published.  The whole gamut is run in our own membership.  So if one of us wants help with marketing, typesetting, illustrations, cover design, getting an agent, editing, finding a POD publisher, getting blurbs and book reviews – you name it – it is all right here in our group.  For an author there is no better master mind group than a group of other authors.  I have personally found a wealth of experience in our own people.

If you are not in a group already and you are serious about learning the business of being an author, whether you plan to self publish or land a contract with a publishing house, I recommend finding a group to build a nest in.  Participate in the discussions.  Learn what you can and impart your own knowledge as well.  And if there isn’t a group around you then try to put your best foot forward and start one yourself.  Use the leverage of others’ knowledge and experience to make you better at the business of writing.  Open your mind to it and you will see there’s lots of help out there for you.

I would love to hear from other writers’ experiences in writers’ groups. Do you have any experiences you would like to share?

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2 responses to “Why it is good for authors to meet up…

  1. ME Staton July 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I agree, that meeting and interacting with other writers is important not only for the social aspects of mixing with like minded people but the challenges of dealing with different points of view on the same subjects. There is also the networking aspect, if you are serious about getting published than there is no better place to start than with your fellow writers who can help with you craft, help you get an agent, help you with marketing and who can be powerful allies and your strongest fans. They can also be your strongest critics so be prepared.

    Personally I have a genre specific writing group for the craft side of things but I enjoy going to conventions and workshops and the regular meetings of the genre organisation I belong to for all of the above. I am also quite active in online social media meeting other writers around the world for exactly the same things.

    I always like to say that you cannot write in a vacuum these days, not if you are in anyway serious about your work.

  2. Gary Dale Cearley July 15, 2009 at 4:07 am

    You are very lucky to be able to meet with writers from your own genre. At the same time I feel blessed that we are all from different backgrounds in our group. Both ways have their strengths and weaknesses but both ways are also highly recommendable.

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