Writers’ Groups and Thoughts

Hey, everyone!

I wanted to let you all know I’m still alive, and I’m sorry for the lack of updates. First, I want to thank everyone who commented on the previous blog post. I wrote that blog post to get other writers’ opinions on the Goodreads issue, and I’m glad to report that she was able to get her story removed from Goodreads. I strongly believe that a writer should be able to get their unpublished manuscripts removed from Goodreads, and not be forced to have their work posted there.

If you find your unpublished work posted to Goodreads, you can get it removed, but please keep in mind that readers can post the story and review it.

In other news, I’ve been in a slump recently, probably because I try to help people and get no appreciation or understanding. I get someone being mad or upset, but I don’t care for people who are passive aggressive or give someone the silent treatment. But that’s human nature, I guess.

Anyway, today, I wanted to talk about Writers’ Groups. I know I’ve mentioned this a little bit in the past, but I wanted to discuss “in-person” groups. Since I’ve been taking my writing class, I’ve found I really enjoy a small collection of writers sitting down and discussing their work.

There’s a special feeling you get when speaking about your work in real life, with like-minded individuals. We talk about our stories; we mention different writing styles, writers we enjoy, and ways to break writing rules.

When you’re with other writers, you’ll think:

you'll think

Honestly, after experiencing a real-life writers group, I feel all serious writers should find their own group. Of course, only if they want to. While meeting writers online can be fun (and frustrating), it doesn’t beat having your own dedicated circle of writer friends that will support you and review your work. I don’t want to cheapen online friendships, but if you can, try to turn those friendships into real life ones. When you can sit around, laugh, and bounce ideas off other writers, it’s nice to feel you’re not alone.

You’ll feel like:

hug

Question: do any of you have a real life writers group you meet with? If you do, can you share with us your experiences?

(I plan to be active on my blog again, so don’t worry)

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22 thoughts on “Writers’ Groups and Thoughts

  1. A real life writers group sounds amazing honestly! The closest I’ve ever come to that though is college English 101 (we did a lot of critiques on each others work). I’m an introvert though, so at the same time the idea of having a group of writer friends in real life stresses me out lol Yeah it’s fun being me ; p
    I hope things go well for you and you enjoy your writers group!
    Hugs and kisses!
    Meno<3

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand about the stress of meeting new people. Sometimes it’s hard to meet new people and figure out who you mesh with. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am lucky because not only do I enjoy my interaction on here, Writing.com I also join a group of ten to fifteen authors every Wednesday at the Sheraton in Langhorne, Pa. We are a mixed group of published and non-published authors in different genres. We only have two authors that write in the same genre so it’s pretty awesome to hear and to have the chance to critique. I highly recommend in person writing groups, you learn so much from each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lyn,

      That’s awesome you have a writers group you meet with. I think all the different places – WordPress, Writing.com, and the real life writers group – all have different things to offer. Once my class is over, I definitely plan to start my own in-person writing group.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think we’ve discussed this before, but I’m part of an in person writing group, and I’m pretty sure it’s the best writing group ever. I’ve heard horror stories about other writing groups, even from members of my current writing group who have previously been part of other groups where they felt discouraged and even considered giving up writing.
    I love that as you get to know your writing group, you learn everyone’s strengths, and how to help each individual grow as a writer.
    One of the biggest things that I’ve learned from my group, is that you have to figure out where another writer is with their story and their goals for that story. It doesn’t help another writer to tell them they need to scrap their story and start over if they’ve spent years on it and are ready to submit it to an agent (this actually happened to one of our members in another group). And it doesn’t help to find every grammatical error in a piece that someone merely intended to share with the group, but has no intention of publishing — sometimes that’s enough for a person.
    Great post, Aka! Have a wonderful week. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Unfortunately no, the closest example to a real life writer had been my friend who planned or maybe wrote a long story that still remains untitled till this day and could be done better in his opinion. Even though I do want to eventually join a writing group, just that now isn’t the best time at all, seeing that I am busy preparing for my national exams this year. Btw, great post, I do like having the thought of joining a writers group yet currently do not have the time to commit to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand. School is definitely more important right now. Thanks! I’m so glad you liked my post. When you do find the time, I’m sure you’ll love being in an in-person writing group.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My latest release showed up on Goodreads last year even though it wasn’t yet published. I had posted the chapters live on Wattpad and it got a few hardcore haters who told me how to write the hero (yes to Christian Grey/no to Christian Grey) and when I finished writing the story I then unpublished it so I could fix the issues in private. That didn’t stop someone from adding the story on Goodreads and leave their negative reviews. A GR librarian then took the book down although someone added it again. That’s why the book was totally under the radar (unpublished) for 16 months. Now the book is published and if they have any good/bad reviews, I don’t know because I no longer go to Goodreads.

    As to in-person writing groups, it worked for me in the days before Facebook and I was part of one. But now, I prefer non-in-person writing groups IF I really had to be in one. But the best writing group for me is one where everyone just writes. Leave the critiquing to the editors.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I guess the adding “Wattpad books” to Goodreads has been a problem for a long time now. I didn’t realize it was an issue until someone told me about it. Hmm, I guess I see what you mean about leaving the critiquing to the editors, but I still like having beta readers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I kinda have beta readers especially when I post my chapters on Wattpad before self-editing, then sending it to the editor and publishing it. But I usually use them for their reactions to the story, not so much the critique part because they’re still looking right into that raw process of creating a story chapter after chapter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I see. I use beta readers to see if anything in the story needs to be changed or edited. For example, if a certain scene doesn’t make sense or if the dialogue was unrealistic. I prefer beta readers who are serious about reading the story, and they don’t want to read just for entertainment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll always have Wattpad readers who’ll read the stories for entertainment with 1% whose reactions I gauge. I don’t change much with my stories from the moment I post them on Wattpad to the time I publish them. I’m pretty much 90% made up as to what I will be publishing before I post it on Wattpad because I edit as I go. That’s what made Loving Riley a bit rough towards the end because some readers wanted it to go a certain way-50 Shades of Gray style-and they hunted that story down on Goodreads to say their piece since I took it down from Wattpad and it made me question my character’s arc. But in the end, 16 months after I finished the story, the published version is 90% of the original material except for one chapter that was polished to be clearer and still going against how those readers wanted me to write the hero to be.

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  6. I’ve attended writing groups in the past, as well a variety of other writing-related things (courses, workshops, retreats, etc), but I can honestly say they used to make me feel restricted, as if I had to write in a more structured way…and that’s just not how I work.

    I also think I was a better writer before I started studying the art of writing fiction…it’s almost as if knowing how it all works has kind of killed the magic for me.

    Having said that, I find that other creative workshops (art, meditation, etc) really help my writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I live in a rural area so the choices are limited, plus I have high standards. I loved being in one a few years ago, a novel writers group, but the leader of the group had us ‘cold’ reading out loud extracts from our work, with no context given or preparation (eg sending work out first for private read, then discussion in the group) and giving quite blunt assessments, which I resented not only for myself but for the others who weren’t as vocal. Egos also came to the fore and most of the group had finished their first novel so marketing etc dominated for the first half hour of every session. I bowed out after objecting to the way the group was run – I had to say something for my own integrity.

    I missed it at first, felt a bit lonely, then decided to just get on with it and trust my own judgment. I would consider another group, but it would have to tick my boxes, otherwise I’m better off without one.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t have a physical group I can meet with face to face, but I do have a very small online bunch always willing to lend a hand in whatever I need. It’s not the same exactly when we can’t all talk face to face or together on the same issue or question, but I guess it does enough for me I guess. I’d probably be too shy for a face to face group, especially of people I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Another great post…I’m drawn to the conversational way you write…and, no, I am not part of a writing group/circle…but, I can understand how you so appreciate the in-person connection and support. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  10. As I was reading the posts I noticed concerns about in person writing groups, I made myself a list of what I felt was important for a group and then visited several groups before choosing the one I am in. Several didn’t even come close on my secret list of needs. Ours has a 15 minute social before we begin. each author is asked read or not when they arrive. A list is assembled and the order is read. Each reader can read their work for up to 10 minutes which is roughly 5 pages and then they receive 10 minutes of critiques. Each critiques involves something positive and something that needs work. There are not punctuation checks or spelling checks because your work is not passed around only you have a copy. What is offered is do the characters feel believable, is their conflict, tension, and does the plot have movement. In my case, I’m a poet , I share the form or if it is freestyle and they listen for cadence, or words that disrupt the imagery. One guy is super on syllable count in his head and let’s me know if I’m off.
    We have the option of sending our work out among the group on google drive for more in depth critiques which some enjoy and some don’t. But knowing what is going to happen makes everyone happy.

    For those thinking about starting your group, format exactly what you need and expect ahead of time so everyone is clear from the beginning. And don’t be afraid to suggest they might not be a good fit to the group if someone is . We just had our first because she broke the cardinal rule, critiques are for the work nothing is directed at the author themselves. She called another writer a sick person and said they should be arrested. The piece was fictional but clearly there was some pieces that were graphic but our personal judgement is not involved.

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