Monday, March 10, 2008

The Lithia Writers Collective

As previously mentioned, I love the solitude that the writing life brings. But one of the drawbacks is that there is no feedback loop; you sit in a room and write, and occasionally glance up at the finches outside your window, then you go back to writing - but there’s no one there.

That’s why finding a critique group is essential. I met my fellow writers at a class five years ago and we went strong for a good three years. Then most of us finished the projects we were working on and went into the agent/publisher phase, so we disbanded. But I missed it. Terribly. Recently we resurrected the group with the skeleton crew and brought in two fresh writers to replace those who had wandered off or stopped writing. We are a group of five, all similar in age and situation, but with shockingly different writing styles and interests. We have two literary fiction writers, one creative nonfiction writer, and two young adult writers. We critique each other’s work, talk about publishing news, and share triumphs and rejection (of which there is plenty in this business). And we go through a lot of coffee and sweets.

I look forward to it every week because, hey, when you’re a mother of two young kids it’s really nice to have one night a week that you know will be spent with adults talking about things you love. But more than that it gives me people, real, live people, to write for; it’s not just me and the finches anymore. I have an audience. And somehow that fact alone gets my ass in the chair on a Monday morning.

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