Last night, I went to the local fantasy and sci fi writers group’s first session of the year. They seem like a great bunch of people, keen to chat about what they know about the craft and where they’re at with their own projects. That being said, I left the session feeling frustrated rather than inspired.
This surprises me, because there is nothing better than being around like-minded people, as I discovered with my beloved Melbourne writers group, whom I’m keeping in touch with via skype.
It’s led me to realise that I need not just a writers group that discusses the craft of writing, but a critique group that evaluates each other’s work and holds them accountable. I also enjoy structure, in that the session is planned out with specific activities that run for a controlled amount of time, plus someone who monitors the meeting and ensures that everyone gets their fair share of air time.
I think there are certain things that can destroy a writers group – members who want different things, an overbearing attendee who hijacks the proceedings, disrespect towards the work of other people in the group, and an inability to reel in the tangents that inevitably happen in a group of passionate writers.
I’ll give this group another shot. It’s always difficult when joining an established writers group, and like I said, these people are good folk.
No doubt I’ll let you know how it all pans out.