I need my writing group

I miss my writing group.I miss the motivation, the camaraderie, it provides. But more importantly for my writing I need my writing group.  I feel accountable to the group to contribute. Away from my Thursday Night Writers for four months now (and another month before I arrive home), my writing has dwindled to a trickle.

I did some quickie research on what writing groups “should” do. It appears we are in noncompliance in a few areas. Yet how to explain our over five years of success as a writing group that meets weekly?

1) Have a mission statement or a written goal. We don’t. Jeez, what’s up with that?

2) Get in on the ground floor. In our group, some have come and gone but four of us have been here since day one.

3) Help each other get published. A few in our group have. We mainly just help each other keep writing. Or provide constructive feedback so that the author won’t be embarrassed when he or she submits something to a contest, literary journal, or agent, or self-publishes.

4) Pick a group that focuses solely on your genre. Living in a rural area we can’t do that (and not everyone writes in just one genre) so occasionally we have issues with other members understanding how something is written. For example, some write cozies and yet others don’t read cozies.

What do I think we do exceptionally well that not all groups do?

  • Our works are submitted in advance, allowing members time to read and absorb the material. Sometimes “in advance” may be a mere hour or two!
  • Meetings are well controlled by John, our group leader/facilitator. He is the sun around which we revolve!
  • We are happy to see each other, we have fun, and we write. We have birthday parties, Christmas parties, celebrations for getting published or winning awards, and anniversary parties for the founding of the group. Some of us meet for lunch on Fridays. Yet we work hard.
  • We willingly share our knowledge with our fellow writers. Having a former police detective in our group comes in mighty handy, especially when we’re writing about guns and crimes.

Six days before my husband and I are due to leave Arizona, I discovered a web page listing twenty-eight writers’ groups and “meetups” in the East Valley. They range from “The Erotic Voice” (13 Eroticians) to “East Valley Writers—Spec Fic (paranormal, sci fi, fantasy)” (12 Evil Dwarves) to “Chandler Romance Writing Meetup” (27 authors).  Some of the meetups have one thousand members.

I am quite certain that I deliberately did not do this research upon our arrival in January. I don’t want a new writing group—I need mine from NH! The one I’m comfortable with. The one whose members I can relate to, understand their comments, and get slightly defensive with.

Though I do try to save my ranting and raving for the drive home.

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About Karen Whalen

A contemporary fiction writer with an accumulation of incomplete novels and short stories, I consider NH "home," spending the summer through Christmas there with my husband. My youngest daughter and her family live nearby (as well as my mother and other family members). January finds us venturing to VA to visit our middle daughter and her family before we make our way to sunny AZ to live with our oldest daughter and family. We spend time in VA on our way home. I am fortunate that my daughters live in places I would have retired to all on my own! My 87 year-old mother asks if I will finish my novel (which one, I wonder) before she dies.....Even with that for a goal, I manage to excel at procrastination!

Posted on April 20, 2015, in Karen Whalen, writing, Writing Group and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Eleanor Ingbretson

    You make us sound really good! I guess I never looked at us that way before. We do rock, don’t we.
    Question: do the twelve evil dwarves ever meet up with the Eroticians in the East Valley?

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  2. Excuse me, Eroticians? We now turn these matters over to some kind of expert? I suppose we call in the Romantacist when the heart is involved, too?

    We do indeed have an unusual and outstanding group. All we lack is Karen back.

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  3. I know how you feel!! I am in a writers group, we are all good friends, all very different women but all with a common thread, our writing! I could not live without my lady friends, such joy to share with them, and support and friendship, it is all good! So hang in there, not much longer now!!

    Like

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