It is almost time to renew my writers’ groups memberships. Over the past year I have given a lot of thought to which group I wanted to retain my membership to. At first I thought about giving up the group that I thought I wasn’t taking care of my needs.
I had heard in the past, of a lot of writers who have stopped going to their writing groups for one reason or another. Mostly they would conplain that they weren’t satisfied by the quality of information or time spent with a group they belonged to.
The point is, I belong to a lot of groups. They may not be all writing groups. Some are sort of self help groups. You see I’m the mother of an addict and I joined a bunch of groups on facebook so I could learn how to better understand my addict and how to be a help to them instead of being an enabler.
What I’m getting to is that, there was this one group, a recovery group who talked about why groups in general fall apart. They fall apart because those who are doing the real work in the group drop out of the group. Because they think the group is holding them back. They see the others failing instead of growing and moving forward. By their leaving the group, there is no one left to set the example and to encourage inspiration, growth, and hope.
This goes for writing groups too.
I joined the Monadnock Writers’ Group over three years ago and I have seen their membership rise and fall. The fall seems to happen when published authors think they have become too good for the group. Those published authors stop coming to the meetings and then you are left with a bunch of people who have been working on the same manuscript for the past twelve or so years. If all the published authors left the group then who is left to inspire them to move forward?
Honestly, I thought about being one of those published authors who dropped out of the group. But after hearing about how much that can damage a group in the long run, I have decided against it.
Just because I have published X amount of books does not mean that I don’t value being a member of the group. That is hogwash. I now know that I need to be there to help guide others in publishing or finishing that slow growing manuscript. Who else is going to root for them and cheer them on when they finally finish that manuscript and publish it? Certainly not the low guy on the totem pole. They are too busy trying to learn how to get started.
So the next time you find you are not happy with your writing group ask your self this, what are you doing about it? By leaving the group, what kind of example or message are you sending to the other members of the group?
Oh, and of course, there is no question about it, I will be rejoining not only the Monadnock Writers’ Group again this year, but I will be adding my NHRWA group and the YARWA group to my annual renewal list too.
ROW 80 Check In:
I am still in the middle of revisions and edits for the Orgarlan Series. I am amazed and horrified by Aaron and Keja. After working on the revisions for that book since the middle of last week I must say, I am surprised anyone would read that stick figure book. But wait – when I am done with the revision and edits – I will be saying – Wow – Did I really write that?
And yes, you inspiring authors, it is possible to take your stick figure of a manuscript and turn it into a beautiful sketch or even better – a writing portrait.