Great meeting of the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers’ Guild this afternoon. I’m a shamefully inactive chapter member, but serve on the board of the statewide MWG….I joined the MWG and volunteered for its board for two reasons: to network with other writers and to spur my own creative urges.

Both reasons are important and underappreciated. It is true that the real work of writing is done in solitude, and in intense concentration. The social tasks of conversation and interaction take away from that work. But around that real work is another sort of real work — comparing notes, learning about opportunities, obtaining resources and feedback. That’s where writers’ groups come in.

If there is a local writers’ group near you, join it. Sure, you’ll not have much in common with many of the people in it. But attend, listen, and learn. There’s much value in them.