Thursday, June 2, 2011

Writing Club

In addition to joining a book club, I also joined a writing group this year at the local public library. Or at least, I attempted to.

The first meeting of the group was in October. As I walked into the room, I felt like I was entering the set of Golden Girls. Nobody in that room was under 60 years old. And I would bet that there was at least one or two women in her 80s. I felt totally out of place.

Then some of the women read samples of their writing. This woman who was so old, she looked like she was about to turn to dust at any second, read this endless story about breaking down crabs. Also, the woman who was running the meeting was one of those old people who just never shuts up. If she were my patient, I would have been interrupting her every thirty seconds. But since she was running the meeting, she had free reign to just babble on and on till I wanted to throw up. I felt so helpless. It was sort of like being stuck in a room with a talkative patient and an attending who won't interrupt them.

Finally, one woman started reciting poetry. And I had to sit there and pretend to find the poems amazing, even though I truly hate poetry.

By the end, I couldn't wait to get out of there. I couldn't believe I had voluntarily subjected myself to two hours of old people prattling on about stuff. I have to do that enough at work. I decided never to go back, if only because I was worried that if I was there long enough, I might get confused and start listening to their chests with my stethoscope.

That said, they now will not leave me alone!

I made the horrible, horrible mistake of writing down my actual real phone number on the sign-up sheet. So every month now, they call me about the next meeting. And they always call during the day, when I'm at work, and I pick up because I don't recognize the number and think it might be the daycare or something important.

I have not been to one other meeting. I asked them to stop calling and they didn't. I finally told them I was moving to another state, and they still gave me a reminder call this month. It's horrible. Who knew that the library writing group would be harder to get out of than the mafia?


  1. They probably forget to take your name off the list as soon as they get off the phone with you.

  2. Writing groups are...special. I've done the 'memoirs of a senior citizen' group a few times. They must have really liked you.

    I've run a few, joined a few, ran screaming from a lot.

    You might have more luck seeking out forums online in your genre. The RWA tends to run pretty good in person groups, but the genre is romance (their local conferences are pretty good regardless of genre).

    The best group was the one I started after attending a conference and cultivating the best and brightest (weeding out the nuts and senile). That group has yielded several publishing contracts (not me, I had a baby instead, but the others). So if you have a spare weekend you could go that route.

    You really have to kind of build your own group. Good groups with good writers aren't often open to new blood. Open groups tend to be full of rank amateurs with various personality problems (I think this must be what the ER drug seekers do when they aren't looking for a hit).

    And that was probably way more than you wanted to know, sorry!


  3. Hello. Fake phone number and email address. Duh! Like I do at almost every open house I go to. Well, now you learned your lesson...:-)

  4. POP: Thanks for the advice. I probably don't have the motivation to be quite that proactive though :)

    ERP: You're totally right. They passed around the sign-up sheet at the very beginning, before I realized quite how bad it was going to be.