|Image: Terry Bailey|
The writing group I used to go to, and was involved in the running of right at the embryonic stage a few years ago, has turned from a great concept with a great core of people into an absolute beast of a thing.
I stopped going for a while when other commitments came my way, but when I returned was glad to see the direction the group had gone. It had moved from just drinking and talking about writing to people bringing in work to read aloud and discussing it.
But with that also came feelings of ownership and cliquishness that so often invades this kind of venture. The group became quite large and an amount of resentment grew between the different personalities. It’s now become quite ugly and in a public way.
There’s been a lot of intolerance shown on both sides, which finally manifested when a group of writers recently broke off from the pack after being subject to what I can only surmise as being some quite spiteful and unwarranted abuse in the newsletter and general emails to the group. It’s a pretty poor show, and it would appear I’m not the only one who now harbours reservations about going back after coming into contact with the poisonous atmosphere that the in-fighting has generated.
I’m toying with the idea of joining the splinter group but it’s on every second Monday, a night of the week that doesn’t really suit. I’m hoping I can make something happen, though, because without it my options of being able to attend a writers’ group of that ilk are pretty much closed off.
To be honest, I think I enjoyed the group more in the early days when it was all about socialising and talking about writing. Since it became such a competitive and intolerant place it’s become less fun, and when people start to feel unwelcome, for whatever reason, then you nkowit just isn;t working. That’s why the format worked so well in the early days and why I’m still in touch with the writers I met through the idea that being in a writing group isn’t just about writing, it’s about sharing ideas and talking about the life.
I guess I’ll just continue as I am; I don’t think I’m doing too badly, but it’s a real shame it’s got to this.
It was a long day at work yesterday and I never got any writing done in the evening. My plans all went out the window not long after I’d enjoyed a steak pie supper from the chippy, but hopefully I can get back on track this evening.
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