Writing by its very nature is a solitary process, where you live in your head, creating the characters and situations that are conjured up by some process of memory, inspiration, sense, or feeling. When you are ‘in the moment’ you don’t want to be disturbed in case the flow stops flowing.
At other times you may be struggling to find the right words, an inkling of an idea, or any motivation at all to write. You hope for some distraction from the emptiness of your mind or the emptiness of the page or screen.
Sometimes when you are stuck, meeting up with other writers can be a good opportunity to get some feedback or plot suggestions to help you move along. Meeting like-minded people can be a boost to your motivation and your mental health. So going to a local writers group is a good way to meet people like you but who are still interestingly different, an opportunity to listen to other genres and to exchange ideas.
There can be drawbacks to being in a writers group. Sometimes people aren’t honest enough and don’t want to hurt people’s feelings so you might not get the feedback you need. This is where a critique group with certain guidelines about feedback are set out, might be a better option.
Working with a prompt from a writers group can sometimes be a real blessing. I have actually produced some work that I have gone on to develop from such a prompt. But if you are writing to prompts rather than continuing with a personal work in progress it might be something of a distraction. In my local writers group, we use prompts but it isn’t compulsory.
Getting caught up in group activities can be good for you socially but sometimes the responsibilities can be onerous. But if a group is publishing an anthology of their work this is a good way to become published and to get some exposure locally as a writer.
Working with other authors can be a good idea, whether that is through social media groups, online communities, or your local writers group. You can learn from others’ experiences, discover where to go for a certain skill or training, and help cross-promote each other’s work.
Beta readers can give you good feedback on your current manuscript before it is published. This will help you edit your book and get a reader’s or writer’s point of view.
So, I think writing is a fine balance between getting your writing done in a personal space and sharing with others to get and give support and to experience social contact which is also important for your mental and emotional health.