I WAS INVITED TO A NEW GROUP.

There were 3 people there and then I made the 4th. The first thing the woman running it said was that we should all come up with one word that describes writers. Uh, excuse me, I’ve been writing for a long time and that little exercise made me think of being in grade school. Even so, I played the game. The lady started. “Focused,” she said. The guy next to her said, “Intense.” Then it was my turn and I said, “Nuts.” The other three stopped and looked at me. They gave me weak smiles. I thought after number 4 responded that it was over. However, NO, we had to go again.

She became impatient when I tried to wrest control of the meeting to find out exactly who these people were and what they wanted to establish. Well, the guy to my right said he needed “motivation” in order to write. The guy to my left had been published, had been a syndicated writer, was working on more and was 85. The lady appeared to be in her late 70s.

They wanted to know what I wrote. I said I wrote poetry, fiction novels and short stories, and that I was working on a true crime narrative nonfiction. Mr. “I need motivation (who has never written a thing) wanted to know how I could possibly do that. After all, he said that people identify you with what you write, so if you are writing poetry they want you to be a poet. I told him I write because I have to write and I write what comes to mind. Mr. I Need Motivation appeared shocked.

The “leader” said she was interested in being with serious writers. I looked at  “I Need Motivation” and thought this is a really screwed up group.

Then the guy to my left mentioned digital publishing and the lady said she never heard of digital publishing and it was obvious she wasn’t interested

Oh well, thankfully my wife arrived on the scene and rescued me.

6 thoughts on “I WAS INVITED TO A NEW GROUP.

  1. An experience? An eye opener? at least you got the ingredients for this post out of it, and got rescued!
    A day in the life of a writer, full of surprises.
    Chris.

    1. You are correct on all that. I truly felt that the group description was wrong. That plus the way the ridiculed another group that has been around for 4 years and the guy doing the criticism was saying that he needed to be “motivated” to write. Every writer (and I used the term as a descriptive of character and personality) is driven to write. I have never met a writer who waits to be “motivated” by something to write. And then to criticize a group of people who meet just for the joy of sharing what they thought was fun to write and considered important by them to share was, for me, over the top. Mr. “I need motivation” said that it “made my eyes bleed” to listen to these people read in that other group, but Mr. “I need motivation” wrote nothing to contribute to the group because he wasn’t “motivated.” The 85 year old had been a syndicated writer. He had been published numerous times. He was worth the time I spent there and he and I are writing to one another. That made the trip to town and the time spent worth it. While these other people sat there and complained about “other groups” and went on about being around “serious writers” he and I connected as being the only two serious writers in the group. And, at 85 years old, I have to respect the man because he is learning how to “digitize” his work and the leader of the group didn’t even know what digital publishing was and she is forming a group about getting published. BTW… I went to your site… nice job.

      1. Thank you Gordon, the older we get the wiser we get – it is a bad day that we don’t learn something new – look forward to catching up with you next time I am passing through Blogsville.

  2. Good Lord, Gordon, do I really look 85 when I’m ONLY 82? – going to be 83 in a couple of weeks and will celebrate by swimming 84 laps in the Y’s Olympic pool – all freestyle with enough left to sprint the last couple laps – about 1.2 miles.

    There’s nothing wrong with writing for fun or just the pleasure, joining a like-minded group, reading some of what you wrote and bask in the “that was really good.” comments. Been there – done that. Not for me.

    My advice, had it been asked, would have been: “Stop spending time figuring out how to “court the muse” for motivation and write. Set a goal like: “I’m going to write 2,000 words every day.” At the end of a month you’ll have a 60,000 word book – good, indifferent or really bad. Then spend however long it takes to go over every line and ask, “Could I have said that better?” “Is that the best word?” “Do I really need this sentence – paragraph or page?” “Will the reader feel anything after reading this?” “Could I say it better in fewer words and more punch?” The moderator suggested the group might do some excesses writing short pieces at the meeting and listening to what each wrote. Want an exercise? Try a six word memoir. A real slice of life in just six words. Supposedly, Hemmingway did the first. It was: “For Sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”

    I offered to share some stats on number of, books published, the huge number of book that sold less than 99 copies, Amazon’s mind boggling ratio of print books to digital, etc. Response: “Not if it’s discouraging.”

    Gordon, the people there were nice. Liked them all in the short time we met. But, like you I won’t be back.

    Any other writers out there willing to take a few minutes to help another? Go to Amazon / Books,, type in Dick Harrison, I have a book end article up there – 3 more in the works will be up soon. Sample what you see and if you are led write a review, good, bad or indifferent. I’ll even refund your $2.99 or .99 investment and return the favor. Beside writing, that’s what “motivated” writers do – help or entertain others, even when the odds against becoming a “best seller” are steep.

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