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 Next came what turned out to be the highlight for me, an elderly gentleman was writing his memoirs, not for publication but to leave behind for his children.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.