Join Writing Power’s Writers’ Circle!

Writing, like exercise, is something many of us want to do more regularly. Just as we hope exercising will improve our fitness, we hope writing will improve our communication skills. Exercise also has less tangible benefits like improved mood and increased energy. Writing, too, can nourish our spirits and expand our life’s beauty.

A person could even adopt the same types of motivational strategies to both writing and exercise: start gradually, do a little bit each day, choose a format that is fun for you…

Interestingly, the strategy that many people find most helpful when starting an exercise routine – exercise with a friend – applies to writing particularly well. That’s why I propose that we start our own Writers’ Circle here at Writing Power.

Why start a Writers’ Circle? As I have said before, writers write. To work on your writing – indeed, to be a writer – all you have to do is write. But as with many things in our busy lives, it can be difficult to find the time to dedicate to writing. Without some accountability, it’s easy to defer writing projects (and defer them, and defer them…). Our Writers’ Circle will, I hope, give you some incentive to work on that writing.

Getting feedback from others is an indispensable part of the writing process. Writing Power’s readers are a wonderfully thoughtful, intellectually vibrant group of people. Who better to cheer you on as you write?

What do you need to do to join the Writers’ Circle? It’s simple. You just introduce yourself in the comments and explain how you would like to improve your writing and what writing projects you’re working on. As other people post their project descriptions, feel free to read and comment on them.

I’ll go first. I am writing an article for a scholarly journal on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English poet John Donne. I have done some invention, planning, and drafting, but I have recently stopped writing to collect more research. Now that I have a good bit more research, I am ready to refine my argument (I hope!).

As each of us works on our writing, we’ll be able to share successes and frustrations with the circle. The sky’s the limit. I can’t wait to hear what you all are working on!

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8 Responses to Join Writing Power’s Writers’ Circle!

  1. Laura says:

    This is a fantastic idea, and I would love to support and be supported. I’m not actually working on an official project but am trying to improve my writing habit. I am currently a second-time-around student in a secondary education certification program…I am going to teach High School English. I will be working on some lit projects over the coming months and have my own fiction projects that I am working through.
    I would love to learn more about what you are writing about Donne. Thank you for this opportunity to share.

  2. Adam says:

    I’m in! 😉

    I’m not sure how to describe myself. I’m a software developer who grew up on Sci-Fi, was loved by my English teachers despite failing their classes, and has failed to write a cohesive plot to link any of the hundreds of “situations” I’ve written.

    (I can’t call the “situations” short stories, since they don’t contain any plot. They simply describe the characters interacting with each other or their environment. Organizing a story’s plot is one thing that I would love to work on, and is something that a group of writers would be good at discussing.)

    I have a website where I talk about different personal development topics, sometimes with a focus on inner peace, and I also muse about the nature of the universe.

    It seems very odd to me that you would mention forming a writing group, Loren. I think that the Writers’ Circle is a great idea, although it kind of steals the thunder from an idea I was hatching. Admittedly, my idea will more than likely take several months before I could get it off the ground, but I was thinking of designing a website where writers could post first or second drafts and get feedback from their peers. This is a good coincidence, because it helps me realize that I can get my goal of joining a group of collaborating authors without needing to leverage technology in my favor. 😉

  3. loren says:

    Hi, Laura and Adam, and welcome to Writing Power’s Writers’ Circle!

    Laura, I hope we’ll be able to cheer you on as you work to develop your writing habit. And congrats on pursuing an education degree!

    Adam, it’s nice to learn more about you. I think your idea is a great one, and it would fulfill a distinct (though complementary) need. Be sure to let us know if you decide to make a go of it: some of our Writers’ Circle members might be interested.

    Cheers,
    Loren

  4. Arman says:

    Hi Everyone :)

    I am a postgraduate student in Cognitive Psychology.

    I want to make my writing clear, succinct, and rhythmic. I love reading writings which resemble bullet points but they say a lot. Writings which flow not only in providing the right amount of details but are also harmonious in sound which pleases our inner ear. I want to get to this level of writing one day.

    And I love your writings Loren – because of both language and content. Please keep it up!

    I will start writing a scholarly article for a peer-reviewed journal in two to three weeks. I am also occasionally writing student productivity articles for http://www.gearfire.net.

    Loren, could you please clarify how exactly is this scheme going to work? How are we supposed to give and

    Loren, could you please clarify how exactly in this scheme we will be providing and receiving a feedback?

  5. loren says:

    Hi, Arman — cognitive psychology sounds fascinating!

    The vision I have for our Writers’ Circle is twofold: 1) to help us stay productive and meet our writing goals by sharing our progress on a regular basis, and 2) to have a group of writers to whom we can come for advice when we’re stuck on something.

    As I envision it, it would be focused on support, encouragement, ideas, and advice rather than sharing actual drafts. (However, if members of the Writers’ Circle wanted to send drafts to each other via email for feedback, that would of course be fine. ) It will also help keep us moving forward on these projects using the power of public accountability.

    I’m always open to suggestions: this is just my initial vision.

    Have a great weekend!
    Loren

  6. Adam says:

    So, when and how do we start this?

    There are a few options…

    One is to send out a mass email, and encourage everyone to use the “reply to all” button in their email reader. This would be the easiest to set up, but would be impossible to manage… Someone might be accidentally dropped from the loop, or the addresses could fall into the hands of spammers, etc. Also, people wouldn’t be able to “unsubscribe,” which could lead these people to mark everyone else’s messages as spam, putting us into other people’s junk folders.

    Another option is to set up a forum, such as PHPBB. This would be the easiest to manage, but would be difficult to set up. Also, if there is low traffic (less than 20 posts per day), forums tend to die off rather quickly.

    The third option is to set up an email newsgroup, where only people who have registered for the newsgroup would be able to send and receive messages, and it would be easy to unsubscribe. Also, depending on the newsgroup software, certain people would be able to ban others, or even moderate emails before they are distributed, if we so choose.

    There might be other options out there, but my vote is on an email newsgroup, because of the ease of management and the messages are sent directly to everybody else, instead of people having to actively remember to check for new messages.

    I’m starting on a new website devoted to teaching people how to write code, so getting feedback on the structure of different articles would be very useful… and of course, in return, I would be more than willing to give other people feedback on their writing as well.

    My first question, once we get this up, would be how formal to make my articles. 😉

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