I have taken action. I have left the malfunctioning writing group and have both reconnected with friends at my previous assembly and contacted a new potential group.
It’s for the most horrible of reasons, but it’s incredibly liberating to find that, suddenly, distance doesn’t matter. I’m joining with people I could never hope to reach without the wonders of Zoom, or Skype, or Roll20 come to that (yes, more old friends left long distances away that I’ve reconnected with for the purposes of rolling dice and pretending to be other beings).
As for the writing groups, I now have a choice. I’ve got one novel with the Publishers of my Dreams. Its sequel I’m reserving for my manuscript exchange collective. So what do I present to the new group?
I worry about this sort of thing. What can I bring them? Some self-imposed criteria:
- It must be new (ish)
- It must be of a decent standard, but yet…
- …It must not be perfect (not that I’m capable) as there’s no point bringing something to be polished that’s already road-legal
- It must be representative of me as a writer
- It must not be hideously embarrassing
And I find I really don’t have that much to choose from. My novels are out (though if I get rejected by the Publisher of my Dreams I might reopen that previously-sealed container), and though I am fully intending to crank out some more stuff at some point, I’m currently still mulling ideas.
And that leaves my short stories. And those contain problems of their own.
- I’m not a short-story writer, not really, thus meaning that it falls foul of the ‘must be representative’ criterium above
- I have only two short stories ‘active’ (I have a few discarded ones in the bank, still). One of those is an mm romance and thus entirely unrepresentative (and possibly embarrassing); the other I’ve lost faith in and don’t know if it’ll be a waste of everyone’s time, including my own
I worry too much. It really doesn’t matter. And I have time – I have to attend the new group as a non-reading guest for a week or three anyway, so I can get the measure of the group first.
It is a dilemma. Fortunately it’s a wonderful dilemma to have as it means that I’m getting on with things, that I’m getting feedback on my writing, and generally moving forwards with my writing life.
Huzzah! And a big huzzah for this world of modern wonders!