I am a member now of two writers' groups -- one that I've been part of for several years; the other, for just a few months.
I was reluctant to join any writers' group, at first. For one thing, I never share my stories in their early stages. The first couple of drafts are just too fragile. They might crumble into nothing if edited too closely. For another thing (and this is a biggie), I'd rather be writing!
With the first group, the smaller one, we are all primarily interested in writing for children, each one a member of the Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performers (CANSCAIP). We all have stories to share about publishers, editors, school visits -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. We've grown to be good friends, supporting and encouraging one another. Between meetings, we email news of our successes and disappointments.
I no longer feel as if I'm not contributing to the group if I'm not ready to read my work. It's okay to simply listen and enjoy spending time with a group of like-minded people.
If you are fortunate enough to have a writers' group in your area, why not give it a try? You're the only one who can decide whether or not it's a good fit for you.
I'd love to hear your experiences.
Till next time,