The release of the prequel to Six Dead Men is looming (a month and a half to go) and my Writing Group has become a screeching monkey on my back. Every time I go to the group they demand even more edits. So just when I think I’m making significant headway and will be ready to send a final copy off to my Advance Reader Team, I’m back to snipping away at the novella. At this rate it’s going to be a narrative poem.
But the truth of the matter is I love this interaction. Earlier this year, when I had to forego my sessions with the group due to family commitments, I went through withdrawal and began to edge towards malaise. And it wasn’t because of the lack of snacks and drinks so kindly provided by the host of the evening. This group is the perfect fit for me. They challenge me.
I’ve been in groups where reviewers have oohed and aahed about my writing. As gratifying as that was, the feeling always lasted for as long as it took me to drive home. Deep down I always knew the work could be tons better. I never stayed in those kinds of groups very long. I’d rather get all beat up and bloody during a critique and go home battered but aiming for superior quality. My ego needs a bruising from time to time otherwise I’d get complacent. I most certainly never want to be that.
My beloved and awe inspiring writing group have made me look at the bark and leaves of the novella alongside the whiff of wild animal dung and decaying corpses in the undergrowth. When you’re in the middle of the forest it’s so important to be able to do that. So while the monkeys screech, holler and hoot, I’ll always be certain I’m aiming for higher because of all that marvellous cacophony.
Dear writing group
I love you and simply cannot do without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For all the requests to delete and brief moments of praise. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For the honesty, the lack of bull and most of all, the continued support. See you in a fortnight for more of the same. I’m packing extra Arnica and possibly a mini bottle of Prosecco to keep my strength up.
Does your writing group drive you crazy? Or are they the best thing to ever happen to you? Tell me about it. I'd love to know.