New Writer’s Group

It’s always exciting to find a new one, and this week I managed to attend. I always start out a little aflutter because there are so many ways it can go. What do I take to read? What do I wear? [Yes, I tend to be silly that way.]

But however many groups you’ve been to before, they’re always a little different. I’ve tried to form a few online, to varied degrees of success. I’ve spent time in groups in person in three different cities, and each of them had a personality of their own. I’ve made friends and sparked debates and learned something from every group I’ve attended.

I try to think about what I want out of a group, and what I’m willing to give to them, before I go. While I’d love to trade novels, I haven’t yet been part of a group that was able to listen to an entire novel – I’ve traded those with some writer friends online with good results.

The group Monday does an exercise to warm up, and then they share. I’m not sure it’s a long enough meeting for all of that, but it’s a new group, new people together, and I’m interested to see how it evolves. And it seems they might switch off to do different exercises. It’s almost enough to make me run out and go research different things in that vein.

However, I’m being good and focusing on my WIP. Current word count is 24,181 (97 pages). There are 85 more writing days until NaNo.

What I did decide to take to the writing group next time is information about goals. We talked about writing goals, mentioned NaNoWriMo, and current projects. More than one expressed they wanted to be able to do NaNo successfully (50k words in 30 days). My first NaNo in 2007 was just over 50k, but I didn’t finish the project. Since then, I’ve been working to stay focused and actually finish a project during the month, which I did last year (76k words). I’ve also been writing 155 days in a row today, at least 750 words each day.

And I might take the opportunity to blog about how to do all of that, next week.

I’m most excited about this group being an outlet to discuss writing, the mechanics or the exercises or the WIPs from the members. They’re nice.

What do you look for in a writer’s group? What would you want if you were in a new one from (almost) the very beginning? Do you think ahead of time about what you will take from and what you will give to the group? What would you not want from a writer’s group?

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