Question of the day:
Can you explain more about how I can find a good writing group (preferably online)-- i.e., one that can help me develop writing as profession, not just a hobby-- and how exactly writing groups work? I'm not really sure, for example, about at what stage you might share your writing with a group. Can groups help with brainstorming/developing ideas as well? How would you know if you trust a group enough to give honest, good feedback? Would you ever be worried about a group stealing ideas? I'm not sure if you've ever worked with a fiction group, but I know you say that freelancer groups helped you as you were breaking into that business.
The freelancer groups that helped me when I was breaking in were more geared to magazines. Specifically, I found an incredibly supportive group of folks over at FreelanceSuccess.com, who, even now, are part of my network of support, and I've become dear friends with many of them. These are folks who often share the same writing philosophies that I do: that there is more than enough work to go around, that collaboration is a GOOD thing, that sharing contacts, etc, is good karma.
Unfortunately, I've never been in an a fiction writing group, but I wanted to post this anyway because I KNOW that there are readers out there who have been and who currently are, so if you are one of them, will you please share your insights as to how you found your group and how they help you? I imagine, though this is just a guess, than a writing class is a good place to start: you'll meet like-minded adults and can see who gels when you read your stories and give critiques.
Anyone want to weigh in to help this reader?