Have you ever belonged to a writer’s group? Did it work? Why (or why not?) What would be your criteria for the perfect writer’s group?
First I would like to share my thoughts about writer's groups. What do I want out of it? Foremost, I wish for it to be serious about writing and be interactive. To understand each other writings and offer constructive criticism. Feedback is essential for us to move up as writers. One writers group I had initially joined only cared for the so-called group leader. Even if he read out trash, most went ga-ga over it. I truly disliked that aspect as no one was interested in others writing. Not even the moderator. We were forced to discuss his writings only. This put me off and I stopped going after a few times.
Then I joined a poetry reading group. It was a good lesson as long as 12-15 people met and discussed their poems. However, slowly more people trickled in, resulting in utter chaos. More serious poets had to take a back seat waiting for their turn to read and sorely disappointed as no one cared to listen to them. After a while, food was the only thing that held any interest for most of those attended. I stopped visiting this group too.
As you can see, none of the two groups worked out for me. As a concept it is good. Working it out is the problem. Most non-serious writers turn it into a friendship network. That is not what I want out of a writers group. I wish to improve upon my writing. I wish for good critiquing to help me with my words. I am still searching for a good writers group.
A good group can show us our strengths and weaknesses in our writings. That is what I wish for myself. My writings should flow like a river and not impede me. For a poet or writer, getting intimate with the words gives us a high. I truly aspire for that.
What is your take on it? Would you like to join one?