How many of you belong to writers’ groups (I’m talking both on and offline)? I’d wager a few. I belong to three such groups, but my drive to participate in them has severely dwindled over the past few months. They’re an excellent source of information, of course, but have far too much shiny object draw to them for the would-be writer. It’s too easy to chitty chat your day away and, as a professional procrastinator, I can attest that all three groups have this effect on me.
Luckily, I’m a stealth writer and a hell of a worker despite my draw to the Almighty Shiny, if you don’t mind me stroking my own ego for a moment. Despite my chitty-chatting, I manage a hefty wordcount each day, an entertaining (to me, anyway) blog and email after email after email (some query letters or responses to responses to query letters, some replies to people who’ve seen my site or my blog and have comments or questions, some random notes of squishiness to my husband). But, as of late, I find myself wandering in and out of my writing groups like a ghost wading through a foggy, empty dream.
I think I’m outgrowing them.
Sure, all three groups (moreso two of them) have a lot to offer little fledgling writers and a lot to offer writers who are on the self-promotion bandwagon, but in my current existence as writer-with-a-few-books-but-as-of-yet-unagented-and-unpublished they leave a bit to be desired (but for the socializing that most writers crave). What I really need out of a group, I’m not getting and, as I’m fairly sure I need nothing more right now than to write…I can’t get it from them. (Confused yet?) Last night I was wandering the internet and came across this article. It struck a chord with me, but it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.
Will I leave my writing groups? Meh. Probably not. I don’t really know. Besides, at least two of them I’ll need down the road when I’m face to face with publication. Will I join another writers group? Doubtful. Not that such groups aren’t an excellent way to hang out with other writers and learn all you can about the publishing world. I’m just in between newbie-writer and published-writer (well, apart from my short stories…by the way, a book review of mine has posted at Descending Darkness). I’ve met some incredible people online and will probably continue to hang around a bit, popping in now and again to see if there’s something there worth reading, but as far as the socialization of it all, I’m going to let some cobwebs collect on my time in these groups.
Maybe that’ll make them less shiny.