I’m in the process of revising one manuscript while I’m beginning to write another. Revising is a slow and painful process and I’d much rather spend my time watching Beverly Hills 90210. I need deadlines.
Writing groups are wonderful for deadlines. You need to write something for the other people to read. I used to think I needed a writing group of five or six people to be official. I couldn’t find five or six people to meet twice a month to exchange writing. (Brenda and Kelly probably could have.)
I was frustrated until I realized that I train for races with just one other person. When I make running or swimming dates, I keep them because I know someone else will be there. In fact, I was more determined to get there when only one other person was waiting for me. There would be no one to take my place if I just stayed home. I decided the same could apply to writing.
Instead of looking for a whole group of people, I found one. We meet every other week. We enjoy each others’ writing and give helpful suggestions and criticism. Just like with training, it’s actually more pressure to have something to share when there is just one other person. In a group, someone generally has something so you can slip under the radar and not share anything. In my case, if I don’t write, my writing partner doesn’t read anything. It puts more pressure on me to have something to give her. She feels the same.
It’s helped immensely to force me to revise and rewrite.
It’s also easier to find one person instead of five or six. I’ve found writing partners through NaNoWriMo, writing conferences, and writing classes.
In this springtime of renewal and rewriting, I suggest finding someone new to share your writing with and see what they have to say about it. It will force you to write. I guarantee it or your money back.