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  • D A Howe

Your Writing Group Probably Sucks–or, the Adventures of the Anti-Writing Writing Group

Updated: Jun 1, 2021

I attend (or more to the point attended) a local, writing group every third Saturday. The fact that it was only a six minute drive away from my home was probably the reason I attended. And also, it was small. One month we had 14 people turn up and we ran out of chairs.

But, after a year (or maybe it’s two) of consistently turning up, I decided that I had better things to do with my time. Mainly because it was of zero help with the actual task of writing. And I’m over the anti-writing sentiments. No one was reading outside of the genre they wrote in. Which made asking for help tricky because no one was going to read anything outside of their comfort zone anyway.

There was also the general expressions of horror when someone revealed that they plotted their novel. Real writers just wrote because they could hear what their characters were saying in their heads. And someone was using a PC and not a Mac? Not a real writer.

And don’t get me started on the anti-literature streak. God forbid I admitted that I’d been trying to read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.  That meant I was reading ‘literature’ and ‘literature’ was all that was wrong with the world of fiction.  (And when I say ‘trying to read’ I really mean it. That book is like my own personal Everest and I’m always stuck at the base camp.)

Any hoo, writing groups can be valuable in that you meet people who also write. Where it’s not valuable is meeting people who want to write. That is, your writing group can probably be split into two categories: people who want to write but haven’t written a thing (or never finish) and people who have written, finished, and started their next book.

This video sums it up. Contains strong language. If you hate people cursing then you should go and do other things, or get smelling salts.

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