How Times Change

Yesterday, my problems with WordPress were fixed. Today, I went to a writers meeting. It was refreshing to talk with others who have problems and joys similar to mine. Even those of us who like to talk about our books and characters are fun to listen to, up to a point.

Most of the people there were would be writers. What I mean by that is only a few have finished a story and sent it to a publisher, much less been published. Nonetheless, even writers who have never finished have the muse. They want to write.

The continuum of types of writers at the meeting goes something like this:

1. Those who don’t want to be writers;

2. those who want to write, but never have;

3. those who have written, but have never completed a story;

4. those who have completed stories, but have never submitted one for publication;

5. those who have completed and submitted stories, but have never had one published;

6. those who have completed and submitted stories, and have had one published, but not paid for;

7. those who have completed and submitted stories,  have one published, and have been paid;

8. those who have completed and submitted stories, have more than one published, and have been paid;

9. those who have self-published books; people who have had books published through a publisher.

10. those who make a living getting their works published – authors and writers.

(my continuum may not be perfect)

So, there we were all in one room talking about things we like to talk about – at least some of us were talking. A few were very new to writing and said nothing at all. Or, they may have been more reserved than the rest of us.

The point was to meet with like-minded people and talk about a subject we have in common. One even took the opportunity to pass out samples of his writing for the group to discuss. After passing out his writing, he talked about his history in drugs, therapy, his manic depression and low self esteem. No one commented on his writing.

That leads to a good point about writer’s groups. In my humble opinion, one should never throw out one’s writing to be critiqued without the group having critique rules.  If you Google “guidelines for writers critique groups,” you will find dozens of examples of guidelines.

Throwing out your writing to an unknown group to be critiques is like walking among lions, fraught with danger. It is much safer, but not entirely safe, to give your writing to a group that has agreed upon guidelines.  More on that later.