Writing With the Group

writing at the coffee shopI found a new writing group.  I’ve gone three times, and with the exception of the last time, when there was entirely too much talking from one of the members, it has been a good thing.  As I struggle and struggle with trying to get that second book written, I am using anything and everything to try to push my writing forward.  That’s the way most of us do it, right?  When the first thing doesn’t work, you try the second thing, the third thing, the millionth thing. This is one of those things.

I like writing groups, for the most part.  Getting out of the house to write does make a difference in how my brain works.  I have a lovely home office with a lovely view of my shade garden in the back yard, and a happy cat who is more than willing to sit nearby and offer me her silent judgment moral support. The problem is the home office is in the home.  There is wash to be washed, dishes to make their way into the dishwasher or dish drainer (yes, I live with people that are not so fastidious), weeds to be pulled from the garden beds or water to be put on garden beds, a basket of peaches on the counter ready to turn into jam, a baby quilt needing to be stitched, or that Ted Talk I want to listen to.

The coffee shop has terrible wi-fi but great coffee.  And in a group, there are other people trying to make their goals.  Listening to what they are working on is inspiring sometimes.  “The first thing I noticed was the blood,” one of the writers tells me.  That is his opening line.  He is his mother’s sole caregiver – she has dementia.  Getting out to write helps him to not go insane.  “Let me tell you about the iron bird,” another writer tells me. She’s 70-ish, retired, and hand-writes in the most beautiful handwriting.  She reads a short passage from her WIP, about a wadi in the dessert, that is surrounded by surreal and amazing creatures, including the iron bird.  She describes the sound of the iron bird’s movements in wonderful, lyrical language.

And me?  I’m writing a scene about a car crash and redemption.  My words are not as beautiful, but I’m getting thee story down, and I will go back and make it more beautiful.  At least, I hope so.

But sitting with writers with such talent makes me want to go back to my back-burner project, the story about Bernice.  She is on the Spectrum, and she is amazing. Bernice has a story to tell, if I ever have time to devote to her.  I have a kind of long bit of her story, if you’re wanting something different to read.  You can read it here.

Do you like writing groups?  Are you part of one or do you have a group of people you regularly write with?  Tell me about it in the comments!

14 thoughts on “Writing With the Group

  1. I had to laugh when I read this, because when I look back on our writing group’s meeting this past week, I was the one who talked too much! That particular group isn’t a work session, and our conversation is often cathartic (and hilarious). Another group IS a work group. I cherish them both.

  2. I gave up on writing groups where we write. I love writing in a coffee shop. I hand write there then come home and transcribe it. Sometimes I edit a problem scene there as well. The first book I sold to The Wild Rose Press was based on a scene I wrote while two men ranted about how their wives sucked the life out of them. Turns out they married succubui. hehehe.

    • I love that, Kayden! I do my best writing at coffee shops, but not always with a group. My biggest, hardest edit of Fairest of the Faire (TWRP 2015) was done at a coffee shop in the mountains with terrible wi-fi. It was the most successful editing session ever.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about writers groups this week. Good observations. I don’t have a writer group exactly. A couple writer friends and I get together once a week to discus what we’ve done the previous week. I love my home office and use the tasks that need to be done as a reason to get up from my chair to move around every couple of hours. Try to write 6 hours a day. Then 2 hours for promotion. I have no children at home, only a spoiled pup and parrot who can be quite demanding. Again walks with the pup stir my creativity as does sitting in the sunroom with my parrot, writing on my laptop or sometimes in my story notebook. Enjoy your weekend.

    • Tena, I do write with a friend on occasional weekend mornings. We used to do it every Saturday or Sunday, but she moved to a town a bit further away so it’s more difficult for us to meet up. But I enjoy those times. I never have six hours to write but maybe someday.

  4. I am too much of a loner writer for writing groups thus far but I do get why it’s tough to write at home because of all that needs to be done there. Writing at night helps with that. No judgemental cat (that’s hilarious) in my house just a needy dog.

    • I always thought I was too much of a lone writer to enjoy a group, and I avoided them for a very long time. But then I relented when a friend dragged me to one, and I was sold. They aren’t always successful, but the can be helpful!

  5. Great post! We have a group of writers who get together infrequently, but when we do–we only laugh and carry on about the injustice of the publishing world. I prefer to write at home. Lately, I can’t get in the groove. I’ve seriously considered peeling the wallpaper from the bathroom and redoing it to avoid confronting the novella I’ve started. I think it’s natural to be distracted during the summer.

    • Judy Ann, I’m right there with you. Just really struggling. And I find a thousand other things to do but write. It’s silly, I need to get myself back on track!

  6. I’ve been part of two writers groups. Both were wonderful in the beginning. The first one gradually dissolved because most of the people in it stopped writing, at least for a time. The second one I left because there was one person in the group who has a weird perspective and was always pointing out things in my work and other people’s that was completely off target. She was so negative in a non-helpful way, that I just couldn’t take it. Since then I mostly meet with other writers to socialize and support each other and that kind of writer’s group is much more helpful to me than a critique group.

    I hope your group is helpful to you and helps motivate you. Cheers!

    • Mary, that kind of meeting up doesn’t sound like a bad idea I think we need to get out once in a while and meet with other writers. Sorry about the terrible critique person in your one group. How rude!

  7. Hi Susabelle, I have been wanting to try this for a while now. I used to be a member of the local writing group where I live, but a long illness kept me away for a long while and since then I haven’t made it much of a priority. So hard to get back in the swig of things (especially with a hectic work travel schedule). But your blog inspires me to try my group again.
    Good luck with your WIP! Cat judging…hahaha! I have three dogs who keep me company in my office, too. 🙂

    • Kimberly, I definitely get it! I work a lot, and that eats into my energy for writing, that’s for sure I hope you get to try your group again.

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