Jon Gibbs’s Ten things I wish I knew before I was published #5: Please Sir, May I have another?

Writing and Critique groups are like potato chips – you can never eat just one.

Each writer’s group you find will offer something different.

For example, in my area there is a writer’s group that looks for odd places to write.  They set up folding chairs by the lake, for instance, looking for inspiration.  Is that for me?  Ummmm.  No.  I like my solitary computer, thank you.  But this works for some people.

Some writers groups charge a fee, but they give you great speakers in return.  If you think that the speakers are of value to you, then it is okay to pay extra.  If you are looking just to meet people, you might not want that extra perk.

Look around, and join a few if you can.  The worst thing that can happen is you make a few friends.

Note:  The above are Jon Gibb’s main speaking points, with my rambling opinions attached.

Jon Gibbs is the author of one of my son’s favorite books:  FUR-FACE, which was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award.

Jon is an Englishman transplanted to New Jersey, USA, where he is an ‘author in residence’ at Lakehurst Elementary School.  Jon is the founding member of The New Jersey Author’s Network and

Jon blogs at



19 responses to “Jon Gibbs’s Ten things I wish I knew before I was published #5: Please Sir, May I have another?

  1. Yes, each writers group is unique. It all depends on what you’re looking for in a group. I’ve been involved in two and they each offer something a little different. While the first group seemed brutal, their undeniable honesty helped my writing improve immensely. The second group is very encouraging, great at picking out things that need to be changed and very supportive. Both groups were helpful, but in their own ways and we all became fast friends. 🙂

  2. Can’t agree more. Connecting with other writers (both on the net and in my hometown) has been the thing that’s kept me motivated oftentimes. Knowing other people out there are on the same journey is helpful in and of itself.

  3. Headphones listening to music not to much of up tempo beats. I just need a background for my thoughts. I just like to be alone and unhindered with my coffee , then i write!!!

  4. I am branching out in my social circle, or should I say actually getting a circle and have joined one. 🙂

  5. I can’t seem to locate any in my corner of Quebec but I will keep looking because it sounds like something I could probably use. Good post. 🙂

  6. I belong to my local RWA chapter and have enjoyed it. I did visit a different group last year that I made me run screaming from the room. Not really. The screaming was only in my head. A good fit is certainly important.

  7. A good writer’s group throws you a lifeline, or several, when you are feeling useless or depressed. A good writer’s group is a safe place because you trust each other about the written page.

    I’m with you, Jennifer, I like the solitude of my PC and me.

  8. I’ve been in a few groups and, lordy, were they different from one another!

    It took me a bit of time to find a group that was a good fit for me, but it certainly was worth the effort.

  9. I’ve never joined a writer’s group, but to steal a phrase from old whatshisname – I wouldn’t join any writer’s group that would have me as member!