Writing Groups

cats fightingI was recently asked to start a group for a local church. I asked what type of group. “What grabs you.”

Well, I could do tech, being a software developer and having spent most of my career as a PC and network technician. Or I could do a writers group. A friend of mine, a copywriter, waved me off the latter. “It might be herding cats.”

I did have to take into account my friend is a huge fan of Silicon Valley, which, bad geek that I am, I haven’t binged on yet. So I went with technology.

Besides, I’ve been in several writers groups. They have a tendency to go right off the rails. For instance, one group I joined found me on the receiving end of someone’s pet peeves.

“Women don’t drive Miatas,” she said in response to my protagonist’s choice of car. “That’s a man’s car.”

At the time I wrote the story being critiqued, all I saw driving Miatas were women in their twenties. But this person found that completely unbelievable.

The next group I joined was huge and unwieldy. We never knew who was doing what from week to week. So the feedback wasn’t all that great, either.

I’m in a group now, but it’s a group of friends. We often spend half our time talking about anything but. But the group is productive. We actually make progress on our writing. The thing is we understand what each of us our trying to write. And the group is small. That makes a huge difference. It doesn’t hurt that all of us have been published in various degrees.

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