Thursday, August 8, 2013

Writing Groups

We've talked a little about our writing group, but I want to talk more about this.  David, Keith, Randy, Mike, and I all met through our writing group sponsored by the Indiana Writers Center in Broadripple on the north side of Indianapolis.

David started this writing group a few years before I joined.  When I joined about six years ago, I had four completed novels and was hoping to workshop one of them.  After looking online and finding the local writing group, I contacted David about possibly attending, and he emailed me, welcoming me to the group.

I was ready.  I figured that I would show up, knock everyone's socks off, impress everyone with my talent, and would be oohed and aahed. 

Of course, this is not what happened.  

After that first six months of critiquing that rough novel previously mentioned (the difficult first-person narration with removed subjects and observational style), I began to realize how much I had to learn and how much the brilliant writers around me had to offer.

And that's the amazingly intrinsic part about writing groups.  I started off arrogantly thinking about what I had to offer.  After realizing what everyone in the group offers me and becoming more open to their knowledge and insights, I started to trust them.  In our writing group (I think this is the same for most writing groups), we trust each other.  The level of trust goes different ways: when I submit a piece for review, I trust everyone to give me thoughtful and careful feedback, but I also trust everyone to take the feedback I give with openness and thoughtful consideration.

This is not always the case, but I think this is the ideal.  

More about writing groups in a later post.

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