Reading another person’s writing with the aim of finding weak areas and making suggestions about how they could be strengthened is more fun than I expected. I’ve been part of three writing groups for varying lengths of time and have realized at last how much I get from them. At first, I thought that the only way to get someone to edit my work was to pay them, and then I discovered writing groups. They could do the same thing for me, I thought, but in payment I would have to slog through a bunch of junk. Not so. The quality of the writing I’ve met in these groups has been so high, that reading the offerings has been a joy.
What’s so great about writing groups? For one thing, I love the process. I get to read another person’s writing, make what I hope are helpful suggestions, and in return I get two things. I get their helpful suggestions about my work, and I also get to read their responses to my suggestions. These responses are both in the varying degrees of appreciation they express, and in the form of reading what they’ve done with the original piece. This is a chance to participate emotionally in their creative process.
If you haven’t joined a writing group yet, I encourage you to join one, or start one yourself. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.