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The Reeve
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Registered: 07-2005
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Writing groups


I found two science fiction writing groups in my general geographic location last night. On the one hand I want to attend meetings with both of them but on the other hand, I am afraid doing so will hurt my progress in writing my story... What do I do?

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2/18/2017, 4:34 pm Link to this post Email Pastor Rick   PM Pastor Rick Blog
 
Joxcenia Profile
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Squire
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Registered: 11-2005
Location: Whoosher House
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Re: Writing groups


A member at Whoosh likes her writing group. I'm not a member of any local group ... only a few online groups.







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2/19/2017, 12:53 am Link to this post Email Joxcenia   PM Joxcenia Blog
 
Pastor Rick Profile
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Re: Writing groups


I found out a little more about the groups. One is a critique group that meets weekly and the other is a group that has help on getting a new work polished up and published but they only meet once a month.

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2/19/2017, 1:14 am Link to this post Email Pastor Rick   PM Pastor Rick Blog
 
Firlefanz Profile
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Lady of the Land
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Registered: 05-2003
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Re: Writing groups


I suppose you'll have to go and meet them to find out whether they can support you or not.

If they start spouting old nonsense against self-publishing, about editing or about the writing process, well... then they are not helpful. Don't let anyone mess with your individual voice.

 emoticon

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- Firlefanz

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Flasheart2006 Profile
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Grand Master
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Registered: 04-2004
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Re: Writing groups


How did this go, Rick? Did you enjoy yourself?

I've been a member of two in-person writers groups in my time, and frankly that was enough. They just didn't work for me. I think the real problem for both of them was that: a) they were simply far too big, meaning that either everything was rushed or people missed out (and there were also a couple of hangers-on who never seemed to actually do any writing); and b) they were a bit too literary in focus. One of them was made up strictly of old people (I was the youngest by an easy thirty years) and they preferred stories about shouting at a valley and waiting for the echo (I'm not even joking) to my...'lack of subtlety', while the other one had its heart in the right place and was trying to please everyone, but therefore ended up being a bit all over the place. I won an award at the second one, though (embarrassingly, during my very first meeting--I'd submitted it the month before and my first night coincidentally was the award ceremony).

Since then, I decided to set up my own online writing group, using a website to transfer manuscripts and meeting up every month on Skype, and that's been working out much better for me personally. It's small enough for us to actually develop relationships and really get to know each other's styles and interests and goals, and we're able to give meaningful feedback that actually helps us grow. It's incredible how far we've all come--particularly to look at the members who started out really un-confident and yet who are now submitting stories to professional markets. It hit a bit of a snag about a year ago because it was one of those moments in life where for some reason *everyone* was busy--two of us were in deep professional training, one was moving country and one was having a baby--but it was lovely to know that it wouldn't fall to pieces just because we didn't discuss writing for a few months; and now we're just about back up to full speed.

I suppose it depends on what you're looking for. The vast majority of people in both those groups were doing it for the social side of things rather than the productive; they just wanted to hang around with people who 'got' the writing lifestyle. I've never really needed that. When I go to a writing group, I want to come away feeling like I've grown from the experience. If I want some downtime, I'd rather bung in a film or read a book (or, you know, write something!) than drive half an hour down the road to hang out with a bunch of total strangers; and if I want something sociable, I'll pop down the local coffee shop and have a chat with the ladies there (they give me cake).

I hope you got what you wanted out of your experience.

Last edited by Flasheart2006, 11/6/2018, 9:43 pm
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Firlefanz Profile
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Re: Writing groups


Wow. A Skype writer group. I love it! Why haven't I thought of that?

I run a writer group on FB. Originally, the idea was to find clients through it, but it has become a small, close-knit accountability group of writers of all shapes. Some are starting out, some have several published books under their belts - but we all struggle with our daily writing, and having a place to report it helps.

(It's called The Write Mindset.)

I'm seriously considering getting a paid Zoom membership, so I can hold conferences and teach webinars. Hosting a writing group like that, with a Runboard for the text, or maybe Google docs or something would be very doable. I just never thought about it!

Thank you for that inspiration, as well! emoticon emoticon

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- Firlefanz

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11/7/2018, 7:46 am Link to this post Email Firlefanz   PM Firlefanz Blog
 
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Grand Master
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Registered: 04-2004
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Re: Writing groups


It works really well. There's no need to make a special journey; you can attend meetings from your living room, with all the warmth and comfort that includes, which means we're all a bit more relaxed before we even get down to business. And it gives us all that extra, more personal insight into each other's lives and personalities (we haven't had a meeting yet where somebody's child/partner hasn't made an appearance), so the relationships are really, really lovely.

It also means that we can be totally flexible in when we meet, how long for, and what we're going to do during the sessions. We've had straight up crit sessions, socials, 'admin' meetings, and even joint writing sessions.

Plus it means we can all show off our newest, shiniest books...

The only difficulties it presents are: a) that, given the interweb's temperament, sometimes connections can be poor, which means one or another of us might find it difficult to take part (but it's never been so bad as to require a postponement); and b) that, because we're all in different time-zones, it can be a bit tough on a couple of our circadian rhythms (depending on daylights saving, one of us sometimes gets up at 6 on a Sunday morning--though only because she wants to have breakfast before we start!--and I have to stay up and sobre until 0100!). But this is more than made up for by the fact that we're a bunch of people from all over the world who can bond over our writing. What more could one ask?

I'd really encourage anybody interested to give it a go.

(PS. I just had a quick look at your Write Mindset page, Firle--which entailed my having to figure out what my password might have [sign in to see URL]+ years ago!. Is it weird that you look exactly as I always imagined you? emoticon )
11/7/2018, 9:15 pm Link to this post Email Flasheart2006   PM Flasheart2006 Blog
 
Firlefanz Profile
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Lady of the Land
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Registered: 05-2003
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Re: Writing groups


Uh... which page did you look at? emoticon emoticon emoticon

I need to know that before I can answer to the statement about what I look like.

 emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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- Firlefanz

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11/8/2018, 9:05 am Link to this post Email Firlefanz   PM Firlefanz Blog
 
Flasheart2006 Profile
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Grand Master
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Re: Writing groups


You see, after getting both Trying and Bane wrong, I don't want to commit myself! emoticon
11/8/2018, 4:50 pm Link to this post Email Flasheart2006   PM Flasheart2006 Blog
 
Firlefanz Profile
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Lady of the Land
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Re: Writing groups


I actually put a pic of mine into my books, too. And I have that same one on my Amazon author page.

AND on my FB account for my therapist self. emoticon

And of course, there is now video on FB, both for Hannah and Frauke. I hope none of the controllers there picks up on that. Of course, someone already thought we were twins.

 emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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- Firlefanz

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11/9/2018, 9:49 am Link to this post Email Firlefanz   PM Firlefanz Blog
 


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