Writing Groups

Created 4 months ago by E.B. Reign with 12 comments
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Elizabethportrait E.B. Reign · Author · added 4 months ago
I’m sorry to hear your experiences with writing groups have not been positive, and maybe they’re not for you. But you also seem to have the wrong mindset. Writing groups are not just for criticism. They can be for support, and yes, that means telling creators they did a good job. Positive criticism is valid. It makes everyone feel good, keeps them motivated, and I’m sure you enjoy it too! 

Also, people are allowed to have bad writing. I’d say 95% of what people write is not to their own standards. That’s why they search for writing groups to get everyones new perspectives. It’s on the writer to decide what’s worth while to consider or not. But also, if no one asked for criticism, then don’t give it. 

I’ve read stories that have made me livid, where I was certain giving critique as the writer had submitted it would be more effort than the writer put into it. But they sincerely wanted feedback, so I gave it. It’s only if someone is not sincere then I don’t believe writing groups are for them. 

All and all it is up to someone if they want to join a writing group or not. The solitary writer is common life, but it needn’t be. I believe writing groups are meant for helping one another through the emotional ups and downs of writing. And the site could only benefit from writing groups, because unlike Wattpad, Inkshares is interested in publishing new voices! Which is why I’m here, and I’d assume you are too.

Cheers, and luck on your work.
Profilepic Matt Livingstone · Author · edited 4 months ago
E.B. I totally disagree. My experiences with online writing groups are totally toxic. Most people in them don’t want actual criticism, they want to be told they did a good job. Not to mention people put their literal worst writing out. We’re not talking about a book or story they wrote a few drafts of and they’ve changed, polished, and perfected it so it’s the best their writing can be, but rough first drafts of unfinished works. It creates a cycle of validation, if you ask me. A cycle where people need to be encouraged after every chapter they write.

Any time I try and offer someone some good advice, they freak out and get all offended that I pointed out issues, and there is usually quite a lot of issues. So now I don’t even both contributing any criticism because there’s no point. Most people’s criticism comes down to pointing out spelling mistakes and stuff like that, which is 100% pointless on a rough draft.

Not to mention opening up unfinished work to criticism isn’t necessarily the best thing for that work. The first draft the writer should only be writing for themselves. The second draft you write for the reader. Then you should see what readers think about it. The very nature of observation changes what is being observed, and writing is no different. You’re opening up a world, your world, to a bunch of people who shouldn’t be in there until it’s ready for them.

If people are into them, all the power to them. But I always tell people to write in a vacuum and don’t let anyone see your work until you’ve rewritten it at least once. I think people will have much better results that way.

Considering that only 0.0125% of the projects on Inkshares are currently funding (96 compared to over 7,300), Inkshares is basically Wattpad with worse capabilities for discussion.

Ua00igsh Matt Farley · Author · added 4 months ago
I’d be interested in joining a group like the one you describe E. B. Even if this feature doesn’t come to Inkshares maybe if there is a enough interest one can be started using a Google Group or a similar platform. Keep me posted!
Elizabethportrait E.B. Reign · Author · added 4 months ago
Feedback and support is what helps all writers grow. Never assume your time is wasted if you’re not actively engaged in the craft. Of course you need to be putting words on the page, but I believe writing groups are a way to help you at becoming BETTER at putting words on the page. The reciprocal cycle of writing groups not only creates accountability for members to produce something each week/month, but also strengthens all who participate if everyone is giving detailed comments on your work. :)
Profilepic Matt Livingstone · Author · added 4 months ago
I think time spent in writing groups is time you could spend writing. 
Elizabethportrait E.B. Reign · Author · added 4 months ago
A feature I’d like to see Inkshares develop alongside the syndicates is to have an area for writing groups. A place for people to submit their work, get some feedback, and push one another for goals. Writing groups are great for keeping one another up through writers block and networking. Inkshares is all about community and new voices, so I hope they consider this as a way to help develop their users along with themselves. What does everyone else think?