Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why not start a book writing club?

by Brittany Geragotelis

When I was walking home with my successful author friend, Deborah the other night, I mentioned to her that over a year ago I started a "Cool Girl's Writing Club." And as soon as I'd said it, she went crazy, asking if she could be in it. After I got over my initial shock, which went something like, "You've published nearly 20 books and have movies out there based on your writing. What could I possibly have to contribute to you?" we began to talk about what a book writing club can do for a writer. Here are a few of the highlights we came up with:

1. It's fun! There's something about getting together with other writers to talk about your craft that's totally inspiring. That excitement you get from reading a great book...well, that's what it can be like when you're talking writing with others who share your same passion. Our "Cool Girl's Writing Club" met once a month at a diner and we ate brunch while we talked about our various projects. Food, writing, books, friends....doesn't get much better than that.

2. It can be inspiring. A lot of book writing clubs do exercises whenever they meet. The "CGWC" did little writing exercises whenever we'd meet, just to flex our writing muscles. For instance, we'd each pick a random word or phrase randomly and write a page or two based on that subject. Then we'd read what we wrote out loud. There were times when some really cool story ideas came up that way and it was really good practice at the same time.

3. It's a good motivator. If you're having trouble staying on a writing schedule or even getting started in the first place, a book writing club is a great tool to getting you on track. When you're expected to turn in a certain amount of pages to the group by a specific time or do weekly e-mail updates letting your club members know what your page count is, it's a lot harder to slack on your writing. Nobody wants to have to admit that the reason you don't have your 15 pages written is because you chose to watch a bad Lifetime movie instead.

4. Your club members are good sounding boards. Part of the beauty of being in a club full of writers, is that they're all readers. And this means that you have a built-in group of people ready and willing to read your projects and sound-off on them. If you're having trouble with a transition or you're not sure whether a section is working, you can go to your club and ask their opinion.

5. They double as your support group. The writing industry is a difficult one to be accepted into and unfortunately it's filled with a TON of REJECTION. You're going to need your club members there by your side to tell you not to give up when the rejection gets to be too much. They'll be your biggest cheerleaders and offer endless encouragement when you're feeling frustrated, angry and overwhelmed. In other words, they'll be your biggest book fans. And best of all, they'll be there for you when you score that agent or book deal!

If you have a desire to write, consider finding people to start a club with. Trust me, it'll be worth it!