Friday, 17 February 2012

Writers' groups

I don't know if I told you that I had made a call for writers in my area in order to start a writing group. There was an immediate interest and we met once -- in a bar, which, despite only one other group of customers -- seemed unsuitable for our needs. Everyone brought along a piece of flash fiction and we read it out loud and commented on it. Proved to be impossible to me; I hate reading aloud as I'm simply not capable of doing so and, being ADHD, I couldn't focus on the stories, meaning I couldn't give feedback.

However, it was to be a one-off in the bar. I never took part in writers' groups before, except online (authonomy, to me, is one huge writers' group) and had not idea what to expect. The plan was to write a story each before the next meeting, then sending it around so we could comment on each others stories. But then, what's the point of meeting then? I can send each member the story back with my edits and vice versa.

So I sat down and wondered what good a writers' group would be for me. Perhaps reading each other's manuscripts, if there are any. But what do you do when you don't like the writing? For many it's more the 'getting a kick in the arse' to actually write something, a problem I don't have since I write daily, either on my novel or in form of a short story.

I came to the conclusion that it's not for me; I'd rather do my own thing, to be honest.

Do you have experience with writers' groups? How do you feel about it?


  1. I belong to one set up by my publisher, or rather my editor. Each month a topic is chosen and we all submit a piece of flash fiction, or a short story. We all critique. Mostly the criticisms are beneficial. The trouble is the limit placed on the group. It's only open to those of us who have been published by them. As you can imagine, being a small press, the numbers are low - about eighteen or so.

    I haven't even bothered with it since February last year when I needed to spend all my time writing my anthology and of late, my rewrite of a science fiction story I originally penned back in 1995.

    If and when I have a spare moment, I may just surprise them all by participating again - maybe. :)

  2. 18???? So you critique 18 pieces of flash fiction? Gee! I'd not have time to do anything else if I had to do that. lol