I actually had the benefit of finding this group on LinkedIn last fall. A fellow writer put the group together which consists of 5-10 writers. We connect via a Google Group and generally review one story each week. The make-up of the group has changed a bit over the past 6 months and it’s kind of nice to get different viewpoints from a variety of sources.
One of the problems that I have with my stories is figuring out when they are “finished.” The last story that I gave to this group for their feedback was one that I couldn’t figure out a good ending for. Because it was my turn to submit a story, I had to give them something so I lopped off the last several paragraphs of my story, left it at a place where it could end, but with sort of a cliffhanger, and threw it out to the group.
I’m often a bit hesitant to send out my writing. I have that fear that I think most writers face of being told that it’s terrible, that I should give up writing and stick with something I’m good at.
But perhaps the real fear is that someone will tell me that it’s good.
Every time I’m encouraged, it adds to my personal pressure to continue to writer great material. I suppose that should be a good thing. I have recently been reading from a great blog about writing called Positive Writer. If you want to be, or already are, a writer, I highly encourage you to check out his work. You will not be disappointed and it may help you get off your butt and start writing.
Needless to say, much of the feedback I’ve received from my writing workshop group has been positive. Even when the other writers are not entirely thrilled with my writing, they offer their feedback in a constructive way and explain WHY a certain part of my story is not working for them. If I intended it the way they took it, I can leave it as it is. If not, it’s something I can look at changing for the better.
When I initially joined the group, I thought back to my days in college when I took writing workshop classes. They were some of the most informative and enjoyable classes that I’ve ever taken and I have always wanted to find something like them for my writing. With this group I have found that place, and I am so thankful to everyone who participates in it with me.