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Why a Good Writer's Club is Good for Your Pocket Book
by Mary Ann Kerl
Stop and analyze your writing group. Is it working for you?
You can tell by how much money you are making with your writing. A good writing club will fatten your pocket book. I’ve earned thousands of dollars by attending and being active in various writing clubs for over thirty years. You can do the same.
One thing that will enlarge your pocketbook is a writing club that has a sparkling mission. In fact, let’s get more specific. The mission needs to be: help anyone interested in writing to make money. If the mission wonders from that, your club may be in serious trouble. Even so, some clubs act like you’re a prostitute if you want to make money writing. You do not want to belong to such a club. There is nothing illegal about our business, and we should be proud of the words we write.
The main purpose of a writing club is to have a good critique group that will help pave paths for writers to editors who buy materials. Critiquing means more than simply patting everyone’s back and telling them their writing is wonderful.
To critique well and help others make money, stay focused on the purpose of the article. Make sure the criticism is valid. Give suggestions that help the article to move toward its goal. Choose your language carefully, so that you don’t hurt the author’s feelings. Be honest but not harsh. And, sum it up with an inspiration that encourages the writer. For example, if you know of a possible market, by all means include this in your criticism. This is the way profits are made. And a word of advice: Don’t be defensive about your work. Simply listen to what others suggest and consider their suggestions at home without arguing about it in the group.
Another thing that is also good for a writing group is to have various workshops and exercises throughout the year. Invite a writer or editor to speak once in awhile. I’ve seen excellent results from workshops. For example, one time I heard an author speak and give tips. What happened to those who took her advice? Several writers in the group began making money as freelance writers. I was one of them. That was nearly forty years ago.
One thing that can harm a club is having no real leadership with a couple of people running the show most of the time. Yet, no one wants to speak up for fear of losing friends. The leadership needs to discover the talents of the members and create writing projects to use those talents that will bring income for the writer.
For example, some time ago one of the ladies in my club brought in one of the first books in a series.
“Look at this,” she said, holding up a nice shiny book. “This series is just starting, and I think we need to get busy.”
Three of the writers, including me, sold a book to that series. Just the other day I ordered more books and can’t wait to make more money with that book. Now, I like it when club members do that for each other. You will too.
So, if you’re not in a good writing group, I highly recommend you join one—and start making extra income writing!
© Copyright 2010, Mary Ann Kerl
A freelance writer, Mary Ann Kerl also teaches online communication courses for the University of Phoenix. Over 2,000 of her articles and short stories have appeared in over 100 different publications, including Writer's Digest, The Writer, Family Circle, Home Life, Children's Digest and others. She sold 16 books to royalty companies, including Augsburg Fortress. Her latest book is Devoted to Economizing with Devoted Books.
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