First Writing Group Meeting

Well, I attended my first writing group meeting and I’m happy to say I survived. Overall, it was a good experience which I’m sure will help my writing.

The meetings for my writing group take place at different writing group member’s houses each month. The one this month was about a half hour drive from my house. I had never been there, so I gave myself a little extra time. I wound up being the first one to arrive, which doesn’t happen ofter for me. I just wanted to get there on time and not be the new guy and the one who delays the meeting.

First off, I met all the members of the group. They were all really nice. I am the only guy in the group, but that’s cool. I just hope I can bring something to the group that helps us all to get to our goal of being published.

Our hostess was nice and had snacks for us. There were cookies, cheeses, and even some hot tea. We all grabbed a plateful, sat around a table, and told a little about ourselves. I talked a bit about NaNoWriMo and they were all impressed someone could pull off 50,000 words in a month. I guess I earned a little street cred there.

One lady read us her poetry and it knocked my face off. Literally. We had to spend five or ten minutes trying to put my face back on. I’m all better now. Thanks for asking. And no, the no face look was not an improvement. The difficult part with the poetry, though, was that I really don’t know how to critique poetry. I told her what I liked, but I’m no poet. I could not really offer any changes.

Next, we read a chapter of fiction from another member of the group. I had read the chapter before the meeting, but not everyone did, so we took some time to read silently. I breathed a sigh of relief as I could not fathom reading my fiction aloud. The thought of that made me want to find a potted plant to go hide under. The chapter was pretty good, got my attention, and wanted me to read more. I tried to say this while also giving some suggestions.

At this point we were probably two hours into the meeting, though time seemed to be flying. There was time for one more critique, either the hostess’s story or mine. Since I had only sent out my chapter that day and was new, I thought it was only fair that we read her story and that’s what we did. I still hope to get feedback on my Chapter 1 via email, but if not I’ll just get it at the next meeting.

So, overall the meeting was great. The feedback given to the other writers was valuable and not harsh at all. More than that, though, these meetings will give me deadlines, something I really need to stay motivated. I know I have a month to get Chapter 2 in good enough shape to share with the group. This will keep me on track, and also keep me writing.

The biggest thing I need to improve with myself is my critique of others. I think that will come with experience, though.

Anyhow, I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you have any questions, please let me know!

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14 thoughts on “First Writing Group Meeting

  1. Since I had no experience with writing gropus before, this post was very informative for me.
    Questions:
    1. What was about the poem that made your face fall off? Please answer to your capacity, I mean if you are not allowed to answer, or give away details, that i all right, I understand.
    2. Do you ‘use’ this group to finish the NaNoWriMo project and/or do you wish to improve your general writing style and/or something else?

  2. SzélsőFa –

    1. It was just really good. I really admire those that can create poetry, because I cannot. My mind is too analytical I suppose.

    2. I am using the group to finish the NaNoWriMo project first, as well as improve my writing. After that, I will use it for other projects I’m sure.

  3. I’ve been in a critique group for a little over a year, and I LOVE it! I remember reading a few articles online about critiquing, and that was helpful (I checked if I still had them bookmarked, but sorry, I don’t — just googled “how to critique” or something like that, I think!). Anyway, I hope you continue to enjoy your group. 🙂

  4. I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to say about your first chapter. Sounds like you’re really enjoying being part of the group, and I’m sure it’ll be very beneficial to your writing to learn how to critique well, as you’ll soon be able to apply it to your own work as well as that of others.

  5. Good writing groups can be so beneficial, but hard to find. This one sounds like a good one, and I truly hope it works out for you!

    Oh, and Happy *belated* New Year!

  6. Good for you, it all sounds very positive. It’s very daunting to join in a group of people you don’t know, so good on you for getting stuck in. I’m sure it can only bring positive benefits for your writing.

    And if it brings us closer to actually getting to read your story then it’s good for all of us too 🙂

  7. Thanks for sharing this with us. It sounds like it was a great experience for you, and will prove really valuable. (Deadlines, yeah, I need them too).

    I think you could gain from learning about critiquing but I wouldn’t stress over it, your insights would naturally be a readers insights, so would have value as such.

    I would be so nervous to have my work read by a group.
    I hope your experience of sharing and learning from the them goes really well next week. (as I am sure it will)

    I’m glad your lost face, wasn’t about losing face, as I always try to save face.
    I’m glad you were able to put yours back on. 🙂

    I wouldn’t be comfortable being the only female in a group, but I imagine it wont be bad for you at all, as the “male”.

  8. I love my writing group but we’ve lost a few members and are alot smaller now. Am thinking of recruiting for more! But refreshments and snacks at your group meeting? Nice! We just meet at the local Barnes and Nobles which can get a little noisy!

  9. Way cool! I’ve always wanted to join a writers’ group. SOunds like it was a good experience. Maybe I’ll look into joining one — I’ve seen ads on the bulletin board at our local library.

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