So as usual, time keeps on hurdling by, no matter what life decides to throw my way. Almost half way through with February, and seeing sunshine two days in a row has got me in a fantastic mood. Wicked cool, the kiddies would call it.
As I said before I had my writeshop meeting last night. We finished early, due to a bout of the flu that took out some of our group members, and we spent a good 40 minutes just talking about writing, resources, issues that we were having etc. Did I mention that I met a real life pagan, and an amateur astrologer?
I feel really lucky to be such a part of an amazing writing group. All the professionals I talk with in the writing industry always warn against writing groups. They say, watch out for group think. Make sure it doesn't turn into a bashing session. Remember that essentially some people's opinion is worth more than others, write for the people who are signing your check. I have heard so many negative things about workshops that when I first joined this one I was extremely wary. I have been to those writing groups where everyone simply is trying to one up the other. Where writers are so insecure that they spend years trying to impress and please the other members of their group, that nothing ever gets submitted. I have been in groups where people can't handle success of other writers and are so rude and negative that they end up alienating themselves.
My writer's group should win group of the year award at the next worldcon. We have an incredible mix of amateur and professional writers. People who write out of their basement once a month, and people who are nominated for best new writer of the year. People who have graduated from MFA programs and people who write reviews for the Dispatch. It's great. Even better, it doesn't stop at the writing. I have workshopped two pieces since joining, and in that process I have learned more than I ever did in undergrad. The comments that I receive are thoughtful and encouraging, critical and honest. But my group is more like a support system. A network of writers who have come together in order to promote the success of all it's members.
Recently we decided to meet twice a month, and have one meeting dedicated to discussing the writing business. We will focus on markets and new writing opportunities, submissions, agents, editors, and contracts etc. Because of my involvement with my writing group I have had the opportunity to meet agents and editors in the business. I have become a member of the planning committee for the local scifi convention. I am constantly learning new things about my profession and how to be successful. Each writer is so different, with distinctive style and voice and yet I can learn from each of them. I hope that they can learn from me as well.