Posted On July 20, 2016 by Print This Post

Starting a New Author’s Group—Part Three: Working Toward the Future By Beppie Harrison

In our final of a three-part series on how to start a writer’s group, Beppie Harrison explains how to grow and work toward the future! Read on!

BeppieHarrisonPHOTOYour new author’s group is now a reality, and functioning within hoped for parameters. So, what’s next?

Growth! Not necessarily in numbers, but in maturity and cohesiveness. As with any successful group, respect for and consideration of individuals by all members is key. Two important related factors involve taking into account the skill sets and time constrictions of each member.

Skill Sets

It’s generally conceded social media has to be part of an author’s armory, but it’s also true some people are more comfortable using it than others. One of the advantages of a group website is the opportunity for those who relish social media to make use of it for the group’s benefit as well their own. However, since each member is competent and comfortable with different media, this works best when everybody does their share.

The easiest way this can happen is to figure out what group members really like to do. For example, there are those who enjoy the quick back-and-forth of Twitter, and those who prefer the slower pace of Facebook. With any luck, you may find there’s a nice balance of interests within your group. The authors most attracted to Twitter can tuck in bits about other authors from time to time, and the Facebook people can do the same. Again, the critical element is that everyone does their fair share and helps to promote the other members with all the enthusiasm they hope to receive for their own.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00023]Pinterest is another broad-based social media site, but one that does not always come quickly to mind. Not all members will be interested in this tool, but you’re in luck if some members genuinely enjoy finding pictures that bring elements of their writing or that of fellow website members to vivid life.

Because some writers are very familiar with tools such as Twitter and Facebook, while others find Pinterest or Blogging their favorite, there may be a learning curve for all members. Again, as long as each member works to learn and take part in at least the major forms of social media not necessarily familiar to them, this can work to the advantage of all.

Time Constrictions

Dealing with the ‘time element’ is a major factor for any group. What everyone needs to keep in mind is that, while the group is a cooperative effort as far as social media (or anything else) is concerned we all live in a time-pressured society. The members are all individuals with their own life rhythms and unexpected upsets. Expecting absolute consistency in every effort all the time is a fast way to drive everyone crazy. It’s not going to happen.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]Deadlines, ‘bad hair days’, even crises crop up. To take a personal example, about two months ago my writing life was totally up-ended by my husband’s decision first to retire, and then our joint choice to move from the Midwest to the Boston area, where a couple of our children live. I can’t claim to have put in my full time of promotional activity and/or social media attention, and probably won’t for another month or two until the dust settles again and we are relocated.

These things happen. Release dates loom. Vacations lure. Computers go on the blink. Job issues arise. Children have problems. Parents and spouses need attention. Illness crops up.

Life excels at throwing out the unexpected. Prepare for it. Be flexible.

Mutual respect, good will and cooperation, as always, remain the key. After all, one aspect of a group is emotional support, and is likely one of the reasons each member decided to undertake the group project in the first place.

We at Romancing Yesteryear hope you have enjoyed this series on Starting A New Author’s Group. If we have inspired you to begin your own, we wish you the best of luck!

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If you’ve got questions about starting an author’s group, now’s a great time to ask! =0)

Join us on Friday with Angela Ackerman!

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Bio: Ireland is easy to fall in love with. Beppie Harrison first viewed it from across the Irish Sea when she went to London when she married her English husband, but the poetry and good times and tragedy of Ireland has captured her heart, and her visits there in the years since have done nothing to discourage her. She writes about the uneasy relationship between the ruling English—even the Anglo-Irish who made Ireland their home for many generations—and the restless Irish people, who did not take happily to their role as the first colony of England. But over the centuries there were inevitably times when people reached out to each other in spite of the gulf between them, and those are the relationships she writes about. Like them, Beppie finds both the English and the Irish bewildering and endearing. She now lives in Michigan with her husband and two cats who tolerate them as long as fed regularly. Their children have all flown the coop. You can visit her author’s group here at Romancing Yesteryear!

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5 Responses to “Starting a New Author’s Group—Part Three: Working Toward the Future By Beppie Harrison”

  1. Thanks so much for this helpful post. I’m in a couple of author groups, and have been for quite awhile. One of them was very active for several years but then life intervened – work, kids, grandkids – and the group has kind of gone dormant. I’m sure at some point we’ll pull it together again, and I’ll always feel a bond with those group members. Another writing group used to meet on Facebook. When they changed the way private groups were displayed we consciously shut down. We didn’t feel comfortable sharing comments or critiques when Facebook couldn’t guarantee the privacy of our posts. I miss that group!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | July 20, 2016, 10:24 pm
  2. Becke, I’m answering this for Beppie, because she is deep in getting settled into a brand new house at the moment. Have you considered starting a new group of your own, maybe bringing in some of those friends you miss? Our group is completely private. We have the group website and FB page, of course, but our internal discussions stay on group email. We’re really pleased with how well it all works. It might an option for you to explore (and believe me, I do understand about “life intervention”, lol. That old saw about “wishing there were three of me” has never been more true than since I started writing!)

    Thanks so much visiting. Màiri

    Posted by Màiri Norris | July 21, 2016, 6:02 am
  3. I’ve been following the series of posts by your other group members this week. Were there any unexpected benefits of creating your authors’ group?

    Thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences!

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | July 21, 2016, 2:20 pm
    • Well, your question about unexpected benefits is a good one, especially since most of the benefits I’ve discovered so far are the ones we set up the group to arrange! New and warmer friendships, additional help with publicity (asked for or volunteered!), a place to try out ideas and ask for opinions–all those, which have indeed come to pass, are what we formed the group for in the first place. One thing that has impressed me through my own ultra-absorption in the necessities of a major move (but I’ve seen happening with others) is people stepping in to help with issues or opportunities that arise when one or another member of the group is away or overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life, particularly when no one asked them to. That’s been great!

      Posted by Beppie Harrison | July 23, 2016, 4:57 pm

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