Today I had a conversation with a writer just beginning her book. I gave her the same advice I give all beginning writers: join a writers group, online or offline, to network with other writers and learn about the craft of writing and the business of publishing.
Writers, unless they are employed full-time by a company (a small percentage of writers) usually work alone. Writing as much as possible is critically important; you can’t improve without doing.
However, just sitting at your computer writing your stories or articles won’t make you a good writer. If you don’t learn more about your craft, you will continue to write more of the same. You will continue to make the same mistakes until you learn they are mistakes.
And most writers don’t have the luxury of friends and relatives who understand their passion. The people who love us often tell us everything we write is good, even though they don’t know anything about writing themselves. Or, at the other extreme, our family reminds us that only 5% of writers make a living writing so maybe we should try something else.
One of the major benefits of associating with other writers is being able to talk about your characters, your story – your passion – to others who understand because they share the same passion.
The other significant benefit of writers groups is the opportunity to improve your skill by learning about the craft and to expand your horizons by learning about markets and publishing.
You can often find local writers group by asking at the public library. Internet searches will turn up national organizations, often with local chapters, as well as a multitude of resources and online communities for writers. You will find links to many writers resources on my Web site.