Monday, May 17, 2010

Writer's Groups - The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Attending a writer's group or critique group can be a good thing. Attendance gives one valuable insight into  their own work, and a chance to see others' work. A writer's group can also give one companionship and a sense of community in this solitary venture.

One thing that attendance at a writer's group does for me is to keep me consistent and encourage me to keep writing. It is embarrassing to show up to a meeting with nothing to read and no new projects to report on.

One bad thing about a writer's group is that they can sometimes serve to remove focus on a long term project in lieu of more short term efforts to impress others. It can also be a bad thing, or at least a waste of time, if one cannot receive objective, fair, and impartial critiques on one's work. Sometimes a critique group can turn into a mutual admiration society where a member will read their work and everyone claps and tells them how wonderful it is.

Sometimes things can get ugly in a critique group. everyone has a tendency to get jealous of others, or to be over zealous when critiquing. There are always going to be politics involved anytime more than two folks gather. Some people get ugly when giving or getting an objective opinion of their work.

Enough said for now. I think the subject of writer's/critique groups deserves more research, so I will revisit this subject again.