Monday, August 23, 2010

The Power of a Group

When a group of people from various backgrounds meet in pursuit of a common goal, amazing things happen.  I witnessed this at my second meeting of the San Diego Christian Writer's Critique Group in Ramona.

Peter is the leader of the group.  He has been writing, critiquing, editing, and self-publishing for over thirty years.  As Barbara read her latest poems, Peter immediately visualized these poems as books for children.

While observing Peter's critique of Mandy's novel, I could see what was missing in my own story.  It is one thing to write properly.  An English professor may give a new writer an "A" for the correct punctuation, however, a writer must go further, developing characters through dialogue and other techniques in order to bring the story to life.  This is known as the writer's craft. 

The true work begins once the story is written.  Peter was told by a mentor to put his book aside and rewrite it.  He tried a shortcut to make everything look like a re-write, however, he didn't fool his editor.  Editing is more work than writing.  It is a necessary part of the process.  When it is done in a group, tremendous insight is uncovered by the other members.

I am so thankful for the people in my writer's critique group.  This week, my contribution was a fifteen minute presentation on how to create a blog.  I recalled that day nearly one year ago when God woke me up with a message to start a blog.  Each of us in the group has something to offer, even those of us who are not qualified to write yet.  With time and proper guidance, each of us will become published authors.

There are plenty of groups out there for you to join.  They will hold you accountable and help you reach your goals.  Join one today and enjoy the power of a group.

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