My writing group experience


I blogged a few weeks ago about joining a writing group, there is a local one held every month in the towns library. After much trepidation I planned to go along this month and see what it was like. I must admit I nearly chicken out in the morning and arranged with my wife she would text me with a boiler emergence half an hour into it, in case I needed to beat a hasty retreat. In my mind I pictured a group of half a dozen ladies of a certain age all writing romance novels sitting in a semi -circle drinking bad coffee and all discussing heaving bosoms and throbbing thighs. I should point out I am not deriding romance novel writers it’s just not a genre that interests me.

Anyway I arrived at the library I rather smugly climbed two flights of stairs rather than take the lift and bravely pushed open the door. I entered a pleasant room with a large table made of over smaller tables put together. I was greeted by several smiley face and directed to a seat, as luck would have it I was sitting next to another newbie. The group was not what I expected, for a start there was 21 present. It had quite a diverse range of people, although I was on the young end of the spectrum I was not the youngest, and there was a good number of men their too. I was later to find out not all romance writers either.

The other new chap and I were asked to introduce ourselves, which was not painful as I had come prepared for this. They then went around the table sharing what they had been writing that month, this is when I discovered the vast range of interests and genres. The group included several published authors.
After the sharing of this month’s work two members brought some work to be critiqued. The first was a chapter from a crime story. Again not really my genre but I quiet enjoyed it, when it came the turn for comments I was itching to make a contribution, but not wanting to look pushy kept my mouth shut for once. Fortunately, someone made a very similar observation I was going to make. Next came what turned out to be the highlight for me, an elderly gentleman was writing his memoirs, not for publication but to leave behind for his children. He read a very strong part from when he 9 years old. I will not give away the detail just to say it was very good and incredibly interesting. What was also nice some of the group told him he should think about a wider audience because others might like to read it. Based on what I had heard I would be tempted to buy a copy.

Well that was pretty much it, next month is a seminar on self-publishing, which I’m very much looking forward to. I know when I wrote my original post about writing groups a lot of readers, like me, where quite reluctant to go but I have to say I found the whole experience very positive. Although I was right about one thing, the coffee was bad, I think I’ll bring a flask next mouth.


32 thoughts on “My writing group experience

  1. My first experience of a writers group was also a good one..they have been incredibly supportive of me as a newbie. It has far exceeded my expectations, sadly I will be moving away but have been asked to stay in contact and if I come back for a visit to join them. I just hope there is one where I am going, if not I will have to start one but I am so pleased your experience was positive ..well except for the coffee..ha ha

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ..and here is what Eric left out….
    Eric: Yeah, hello, Darling… what is it?
    Wife: Eric, there is an emergency at home… the boiler is about to explode, the gauge is spinning out of control…
    Eric: Hahaha… no it is quite alright, darling… quite alright….
    Wife: Eric, I am telling you, it is an EMERGENCY… get out of there now.. come over, right now
    Eric: Darling, calm down.. it is alright… really, darling, nice place and nice people.. the coffee is bad, but that is ok.. no need for me to leave now
    Wife: ERIC!!! It is an emergency…. come now…
    Eric: Really, Darling! I am beginning to get a little cross now.. I told you, it is alright…

    Eric: Hello, darling, you really are overdoing it.. we don’t need the sound effects.. yes, nicely done, but calm down.. I really like it here..
    Wife: Well, ok, our roof’s just blown out to the sky… and the only thing standing is the wall…. right-o.. enjoy the bad coffee, Eric….

    😀 Forgive me… I was just wondering what you did say when your wife made that “emergency call”…. haha…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Glad you had a great experience! I don’t do well in crowds, however this I could handle if it were to go the same for me.
    I think bad coffee is a staple for a good meeting. I get leary if the food and coffee are good. .. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sounds like it turned out to be a really positive experience. I love my local writer’s group. It’s very diverse, but we all learn from each other and building that social network can’t hurt. Many times I have had to call on my other writer friends in private email and they’ve called on me.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I was lured into this post by the featured image of coffee. Excellent tactic.

    A writing group you say? There have been a few times I’ve toyed with the idea of joining one, but like you have been frightened away by the possibility of being disappointed. But if you say your experience wasn’t bad…

    I doubt I’ll have any time to join a writing group for several years, which is probably for the best. But I’m not sure I could cope with bad coffee.

    Liked by 2 people

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