Roxane asks how I feel about writing groups.
To begin, I have never been part of a writing group in any formal sense. That said, from the early days of my writing, I did share work with friends and fellow writers, but it was never organized. That sharing was very important to me.
I think writing groups can be very productive. Writers tend to work in isolation, and it is vital to get support, encouragement, a sense of connection, a place in the community of writers. Such groups can (I know) share professional information, knowledge of the writers’ world, all of which is invaluable. It is understandable that new writers simply do not know about the business side of writing, and such information is important.[I do wish colleges would offer a course entitled, “The Business Side of Being an Artist.”)
There can be problems (I am told) when one member of a writing group dominates. I am sure the quality of responses vary a great deal, too. Learn to listen. Select. Choose what is useful and what is not.
Overall, writing is about sharing. With that in mind, I can only believe writing groups have more to offer than not.