To contrast Ann’s post last month, from the perspective of a veteran member of the writing circle, I want to talk about what drew me to join their group a few months ago.
Writing, especially creative writing, is fun and in a lot of ways, liberating, but it can also be lonely. To me what separates a daydream from a novel — aside from a ton of extra effort — is a desire to share your work with others. That’s what it boils down to for me, but when I work on my novel, I do so alone and that can sometimes have a negative impact on my motivation.
Being part of the writing circle gives me a chance to meet and get to know people who have similar interests to me and it also provides me with an audience to share my latest work with.
Beyond that, it gives me invaluable feedback from people who have experience when it comes to looking at works with a critical eye. Self-editing is important, but it can’t replace a fresh set of eyes and a different opinion. Having other people tell you what they liked and didn’t like about your story will typically result in a much richer work.
I’m very happy to be a part of the 11th Floor Writers. I spend my days writing about hockey and while that involves a lot of independent work, I’m also part of a larger team and I like that aspect of my job. In a way, I feel like the 11th Floor Writers provides me with a similar connection for my fictional writing and I’m grateful for it.