If you want to shed some light on how your writing will be received by wider audiences than potted plants and your mother, then one option is to join a writing circle.

As well as being a source of valuable feedback about the quality (or lack thereof) of your work, writing circles can also provide a sense of belonging and community, which can be very encouraging to a beginner. Normally the format is to share one’s writing with the circle and improve one’s craft by listening to the feedback and suggestions of others in the circle.

More experienced writers can enhance a writing circle by sharing formalised workshops or classes on various aspects of creative writing. This may be particularly useful to a beginner as it provides the opportunity for them to ask questions and receive answers outside of the often judgmental and competitive environments that can exist in the professional marketplace.

One beauty of a writing circle is that it can bring together like-minded writers from different backgrounds, communities, and cultures. This gives all members the opportunity to learn about aspects of life that they may otherwise have been unaware of. Writers should seize every opportunity to expose themselves to a wide variety of experiences. There is much to be said for locking oneself away in the garden shed and typing furiously, but sooner or later, this will lead to the writer running out of fuel.

Even if you find yourself unable to accept the feedback of your peers with regard to your writing, you will find that by the very act of interacting with them in a friendly and professional manner, you will, in effect, be providing yourself with an invaluable free service: group therapy.


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