Writerly Wednesdays

Writing Groups and The Writer

IdaHope Christian Writers has a writing group that comes together quite often to read, write, and fellowship. Why do established, mainstream authors suggest all writers join a writing group?

  • Mainstream authors are IN a writing group. The group just happens to be agents, editors, and the public. They also fellowship with fellow authors.
  • A writer’s group allows people to read your work.
  • You learn to write for the public, not for the compost pile.
  • Feedback is generally fun and supportive.
  • Feedback is generally argued between friends.
  • Feedback can be ignored if necessary, and at the writer’s peril.
  • You learn to take feedback with the humility that constructive criticism deserves.
  • You learn to give feedback with the gentleness that constructive criticism demands.
  • Jokes about writing amongst writing friends are so much better than amongst strangers at nearby coffee shop tables. (Writing joke at the end of the blog.)
  • Caffeinated writing, side by side with writing buddies, is energizing.
  • The tip-tap of fingers on half a dozen keyboards is music.
  • Creativity flows well in the writing group and in the shower. The two spaces ARE mutually exclusive.
  • Sharing with others a similar passion ignites the soul.
  • Positive news for one writer is positive news for the entire group.
  • Support and empathy are readily available for sad or bad news.
  • Real people reading your sentences is an honor.
  • Writing is hard. Writing groups help energy flow from beginning to end.

Stay in a writing group, don’t give up, contribute, and you may be fortunate to find yourself like the man in the following joke:

He pulled up to the charred ruins of his home. Smoke still drifted from the possessions they spent years accumulating. She stood out front, a pan of burned biscuits in her hand, a cell phone in the other.

She sobbed. “I’m sorry. I put biscuits in the oven. The phone rang. It was your agent. And then before I knew it, the stove caught fire, then the kitchen, and finally it spread to the whole house, and I don’t know what happened, and I’m so sorry. Everything is gone, and even fluffy—”

“Wait,” the man said. “Go back a moment. My agent called?”

Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW.


  • Peter Leavell

    Peter Leavell, a graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and a MA in English Literature, was the 2011 winner of the Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest and 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best award for First-Time Author, along with multiple other awards. An author, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband, and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter’s books, research, and family adventures at www.peterleavell.com

Leave a comment