Writers’ Groups – Introduction

Questing…or so it seems

I’m involved with a few writers’ groups.

“involve” is one of those words that conveys so much, isn’t it? “How are you involved with…?”, “It’s involved…”, “We’re involved (in a relationship/in an activity).”, “Finding an adequate solution involves…”, “We haven’t determined my level of involvement yet.” (that last one is a business euphemism for “What do I get?”)
“involve” is a gateway word, a word that gets you from one side to the other. You need to know what’s on either side of it to appreciate what’s happening with it, what it’s signalling you, what it’s telling you. “involve” is a transitive verb, meaning it takes a direct object, hence its transportational qualities.
I wrote about another fascinating word, “affair”, in The Complete Eventing Yourself Arc.

I’m involved with a few writers’ groups. My reason for joining any writers’ group is to be critiqued. Basically to learn, to improve my craft, increase my skill (such is my nature. I’m happiest when I’m learning, when I’m improving and increasing).

We may also kid around, grab a bite or a drink (usually not of each other, although sometimes those horror writers…), share gossip, share news about what publisher is buying what, who’s sold what where, commiserate, all the usual stuff.

I was active in several writers’ groups in the late 1980s-early 1990s. I was also published (in print. Back then all there was was “in print”).

Then life got in the way. More correctly, a bunch of things happened that convinced me writing (at the time) wasn’t working for me (more on this later, maybe).

But I kept writing. Getting published got easier. There were blogs everywhere, conferences were asking me to contribute papers, and I’ve always had an overriding belief: Any writing I do will improve all the writing I do.

I did technical writing, some humor, contributed to a few peer-reveiwed journals, wrote up some patents (five so far) and learned more about writing.

Now I’m back writing full time again. Because it’s time. A friend and Patreon sponsor (and you should all sponsor me on Patreon, by the way) told me this morning that I’m her role model because, at the height of a successful career and growing my business to international recognition, I chucked it and went back to my first love, writing.

So here I am, writing full time, sharing occasional musings in this blog and now doing a series on writers’ groups.

Some things you might want to know beforehand: I call ’em as I see ’em, meaning I don’t hesitate to state my opinion when asked. Susan (wife/partner/Princess) and I have a saying about such, “Don’t ask if you don’t want to know.” This philosophy often sets bridges on fire, to which I reply with Don Henley’s “Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge.”

I also wear my heart on my sleeve.

Or so I’ve been told.

Hope you enjoy.

(next up, Critiquing)