Monday, January 20, 2014

Some of My Favorite Groups

We writers spend a good deal of time alone. We have to, if we want to get the words down and our books written. But we’re social creatures as well. This past week I met with four groups I belong to, groups that impact on me as a writer.

Monday night I attended a meeting of my children’s writers’ group. I joined this group in the late 1980’s, after my first book was published. We meet informally to talk about the writing business and our writing careers. I was especially glad to see everyone because ever since I moved some years ago, I can only make a few of the meetings.

Thursday night I drove to my local library to meet with our mystery book club. We read a book each month and discuss it in great detail. I led the group when it first began but had to step down because of events in my personal life. Someone else took up the role, and, frankly I prefer it this way. Of course I make many comments and observations from a writer’s perspective. More importantly, I learn first-hand what appeals to mystery readers and what doesn’t regarding plot elements and character development.

I belong to another book club that rarely reads mysteries. This Friday went to see the movie “Her” and discussed it afterwards. I thoroughly enjoyed this film about a man who falls in love with his OS—operating system--more than most of my friends. Regardless, I enjoyed hearing their comments. Our discussion set me thinking—always a good thing for writers.

Saturday I attended Long Island Sisters in Crime’s monthly meeting. As creator and past president of the group, LISinC has a special place in my heart. We talked about future meetings and presenting panels at libraries, etc. We talked about marketing, and, as always, I jotted down new ideas and ways to promote MURDER A LA CHRISTIE, which comes out next month.

These are some of my favorite groups. What groups do you belong to that sustain you as a writer?


Patricia Gligor said...

I belong to two groups. One is for writers: the Queen City Writers Critique group and the other is for readers: the Cincinnati Dark and Stormy Night Book club, which was created by my publisher. Both are great groups with wonderful people!

Morgan Mandel said...

I belong to RWA, and go to the twice monthly meetings of Chicago-North RWA, my local chapter. I also belong to Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of Anerica, and EPIC, but I confess to only following them online.

Morgan Mandel

Kevin R. Tipple said...

My local writers group is not meeting anymore due to the health issues and other problems of several members. I keep hoping it might come back as I miss it a lot.

I'm a member of MWA and have attended on occasion the Dallas Chapter meeting. Good folks. Just hard for me to go.

I recently left several online groups that used to sustain me some and no longer did as they had several vocal members who seemed to be all about the hate. Just not worth it anymore.

If you have a good group--hang on to it.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Pat, Morgan, and Kevin,
Thanks for stopping by. With all we do, it's often difficult to get to meetings. Sometimes it's difficult to keep up with groups on line. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day.
Kevin, I'm sorry you've had bad experiences with some online groups. New groups are created all the time. I hope you find a few that suit you.

Sally Carpenter said...

Sisters in Crime has been a huge help in me getting published. My local chapter, SinC/LA, deserves a huge shoutout as well. My publisher, Cozy Cat Press, has a Cozy Catters Facebook page for its authors. I find that group supportive as well.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

My support groups are strictly online. But I'm certain you're right to have personal contact with other writers.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Sally & Jacqueline,

Today we're lucky to be able to connect with other writers in person and online. I've many online writer friends I hope to meet at a conference one day.

Lesley Diehl said...

I get digests on line with many writing groups and through them I know a number of writers whom I've never met in person but who I consider friends. They have been supportive of my work and of me when I needed a lift. Writers are just real generous people!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

When I can, I attend the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime, about an 1 1/2 plus drive one way. I also belong to the Central Coast chapter and get over their about once a year.
And I belong to the L.A. chapter and haven't been in many years. My critique group meets once a week and they probably sustain me more than any one. I'm looking forward to LCC and Bouchercon this year, both in California.

Eileen Obser said...

I've been in two small critique groups over the past six years; none at present. We all get busy and the groups fall apart. As a creative writing teacher, I'm the one writers come to for inspiration and critiquing. And -- I get back from the students (some good writers among them) all the time. Other than that, I have online relationships with other writers and they are there for me every time. I agree with Lesley -- we can be really generous with our time and advice.