In my attempts to be a better member of my writing group, I attended the informal meeting last evening. After Dad died, I ducked group meetings and activities for a while because I found it hard to concentrate on my own writing, forget about anyone else’s and I was tired and often didn’t feel like making the drive in. But I am a board member, and I made a commitment that I need to honor. And it’s somewhat social and I miss that a little.
But I didn’t get a blog post done for this morning as I got home late. We had several members read longer pieces and there was the usual backseat writing afterwards. I read, but it was something I’d already let Rob see and comment on. The story has focus and I just smile and nod. I am not spun around by others’ suggestions or criticisms unless I am reading something that is still embryonic. A writer should never do that. I have learned.
Couple of things:
Facebook will assimilate us all. They are google-like in their Borg-ish determination to own us and every inch of our lives that we foolishly upload or link. Don’t expect them to give up too meekly either. They are in desperate financial straits.
Why would anyone upgrade Windows after this?
Don’t forget to check me out at 50 something. Almost no one reads me there and the whole thing is feeling less shiny that it did in the past, but I will soldier on. In as manly a manner as is possible for a woman.
Off to yoga myself and then an afternoon of mutant dogs.
2 thoughts on “The Quickie”
I read your piece at 50-Something Moms and will comment on it there. I should get over there more often – I’m just a few years shy myself. On the other hand, I think I know what you mean about “the whole thing feeling less shiny” – I’ve been starting to feel that way about my own group-blog involvement, but like you, I soldier on.
It’s probably just me, but I always have trouble with writing groups. I totally enjoy the social/supportive aspects — talking about the reasons why we work; sharing how difficult it is to market anything these days, etc. Maybe it’s because I also work as a writing teacher, but I find it very hard to critique new pieces of writing in these groups. I’ve seen more potentially good work get “killed” even under the beam of well-placed, well-meaning criticism. My preference is to go out with writers for coffee and social time.
I was taught the workshop technique and used it to teach as well. This requires other group members to be able to read your piece – usually in advance – and make notations before a discussion. I really don’t think you can offer much to a writer after a single reading without being able to see what they wrote on top of it.
I love talking writing and learning about other writers. Honestly though I like reading, I am often uninterested in the feedback. And you’re right about feedback sometimes killing potentially great stories. We don’t protect our work enough when we are in groups like this because of the pressure to share.