How Does Your Writers Group Work?

7 Aug

Right before I left for vacation, my writers’ group met. To get my mind off how stressed I was about the trip, my husband insisted that I go. Normally, a member of the group volunteers to run the session and talk about an aspect of writing that they know about or have researched. This time, no one had volunteered.

This group used to have a library staff member assigned to it who would think of the topic. Since she left the library, we’ve taken turns running it. It’s become a bit tiresome with only a few members coming frequently and talking about topics they feel knowledgeable about. We’ve had to repeat topics and many people have dropped off because of the repetition.

This meeting, we talked more openly about how we come up with ideas for writing and how we structure our writing. It was a good discussion, but a lot more free-form than we’re used to. We tried to decide if we thought this was a good thing or not and decided that different isn’t bad and that we would try a different format for our next meeting.

Next month, every person is supposed to come with 5-10 minutes of material to talk about. It can be something you know or something you’ve just looked up but this should take pressure off of the people who are always presenting and get more people invested in running the group. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, but it will be a nice change.

Does anyone else belong to a writers’ group that’s not a critique group? This is the first group I’ve been a part of that didn’t focus on what was already written. We’ve done some short critiques in the past but it’s never been a focus. I’m curious if there are any other groups who work like us.

Until next time, write on.

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7 Responses to “How Does Your Writers Group Work?”

  1. Vicky August 7, 2018 at 12:39 PM #

    My group is a critique group: six people read their work over about two hours and everybody else around the table offers their thoughts on what’s going on. Your group sounds really interesting though- I think discussions like that are almost more useful than critiques because you can get advice and share opinions!


    • Sam August 7, 2018 at 2:53 PM #

      I’ve done similar critique groups before as well. I like it better when you get the pieces ahead of time because you can put more thought into the critique than when you only hear it out loud. You have to really trust the people, though. I think that’s the issue I had before. Happy reading!


  2. Becky Ross Michael August 7, 2018 at 4:57 PM #

    I attended a group where I used to live, for which each person brought some type of creative work with them, be it writing, art, etc. I know that some of the members had been attending for a long time, and it was a great way to get positive feedback or questions that could possibly guide you in a more positive path. It just wasn’t what I was looking for at the time, however, since I wanted more direct critiques. Bottom line, it all seems to get down to the members who are attending and how they tweak what transpires during the gatherings!


    • Sam August 7, 2018 at 5:53 PM #

      Great point. I’ve never done an art critique, I think it would be quite different from what I felt comfortable giving feedback on. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kristen August 12, 2018 at 5:39 PM #

    My group does online critiques of work, and we generally only meet when one person has something they want to talk about. It works well for us, especially since we all live pretty far apart.


    • Sam August 12, 2018 at 9:31 PM #

      That seems like a very flexible way to run it. How did you all meet?


      • Kristen August 12, 2018 at 9:49 PM #

        Most of us met in college, but we’ve adopted in other people we met along the way either through jobs or friends of friends.

        Liked by 1 person

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