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To Writing Group or Not to Writing Group...

I would like to join (or start) a writing group. A real life, in person writing group.

The problem is I've never had much luck with writing groups. I dropped out of my last one right when a lot of crap was going on in my life and I can't, in looking back, separate my feelings over what was happening in my life and happening in the group. Quite honestly, the impression I got was that I just wasn't good enough and that I would never be good enough. That my writing style was amateurish and that my choices of stories -- themes, characters, plots, whatever -- were not interesting.

But I was losing my job at the time. Perhaps it was just that with everything that was going on, the criticisms of my writing too accurately reflected the attitude of "not-worthy"-ness that I was getting everywhere. It's been years and I still can't let go of all that. Just thinking about it makes me emotional in a way that nothing else does. For better or worse, my feelings about writing are tied up with all of that.

All of which makes it very hard for me to decide what I'm really looking for. I really don't need to be doing another thing anyhow. I'm falling behind on things that need doing, that I've already committed to. Yet, I love the idea that the could be a group that could get together and provide support and share thoughts about creating things. I know these things are possible because other people talk about them, I've just never managed to find one. I always got the feeling that the other people in the group were friends, but I didn't come close to falling into that category.

I suppose I could come to terms with the fact that I'm just one of those people that doesn't work well in groups. I know I'm difficult, focused on things that don't interest other people, too opinionated and I talk to damn much. But if we discuss the concepts of writing, the process and do exercises and the like, if I stay completely away from making people read the stuff I write, then it should work.

Of course, I live in a small town and I'm not sure how many people I could get. We wouldn't need many. We could meet once a month, at the coffee shop. It would be nice.

Since I can't even WRITE about the idea of a writing group without massive amount of conflicting emotions and fears, I'm not sure if it's possible. Just as I'm equally not sure I can handle finding out that it is just me.


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May. 11th, 2014 12:40 pm (UTC)
Have you considered an online group? There are several excellent writing forums online, and include critique areas, so you have all areas covered. I've never belonged to any "in person" groups, but have gotten invaluable info and feedback from online writing buddies and forums. It gives you the support/help you want without the face-to-face, deal-with-it-in-real-time problems (not to mention that most - though not all - forums' mods keep a check on nastiness).
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