Blog Post Number 21 Written: 06-07-2021 Uploaded:06-11-2022
I joined a local writers group, before all of everything happened in 2020. It was Some time in early to mid 2019. They met once a month at a local small book store, in person usually with somewhere between ten and twenty people. And we all talked about our various projects, what we were doing, and were kind of cheerleaders for everyone else in the group. There wasn’t much in the way of reading/reviewing each other’s work. There wasn’t much, if any of the common criticisms where people just tear your work apart and tell you your writing is bad and you should feel bad. We never got that far into each other’s business. Everyone had a couple of minutes to explain what they were working on and where they were in relation to their goals. Then we would go around the room and everyone would offer their insights and suggestion to help them reach those goals. It was very constructive, but not on what or how to write, but instead on how to publish, how to play the game, and work the system. One time, it even just turned into a group therapy session as one person, who was a combat vet spoke about the hard times he had and his PTSD, and we all came together for him and shared some of our experiences, how a highschool associate of mine, who failed mission 22 and by co-incidence had been in the same unit.(small world) We all talked, it was good. It was a very positive and uplifting experience, it let you feel like you were bragging, but everyone else was too, so you didn’t have to feel guilty about it. We also talked about upcoming events, conventions lightly discussed the work of some bigger authors and the writing/book industry as a whole. We spoke not of our art, but of the art form if that makes sense.
But then 2020 happened, and they stopped meeting in person, and have instead been using the preexisting Facebook group and having meetings on Zoom ever since. So I haven’t been any of those, either I’m not smart enough to run zoom on my computer, or I’m not willing to submit to Zoom’s privacy agreement. (because I’m the kind of guy who actually reads the fine print) Take your pick. Either way, the times we did meet in person were all a rather positive experiences, and each time I came away with renewed vigor and goals to help me on my path to success. I highly recommend finding a group of nice people and everyone can be everyone else’s cheerleader. I even met up with a couple of them outside the regular meeting events at coffee shops or what have you for some group writing. Except I don’t drink coffee, or have a laptop to write on in public. But I did bring some paper and scribble some notes/ ideas while there with them. As a side note I also encourage writing by hand, it exercises a different part of the creative brain and can yield different results. They even helped me get into some local events, one of which I literally spent an hour rubbing elbows with and eating sandwiches with Jonathan Mayberry. At the time I didn’t know who he was, but he talked about his success and what he’s done and I have since read several of his books. It was very illuminating experience.