I have two problems with my writing group.
The first is they don’t want to read memoirs. A few weeks ago, I sent my agent a completed
draft of the memoir I’ve been ghost writing. The pages she recently returned to
me are filled with line edits. I’m not surprised there are so many markups since, other than a few friends and a client, these pages haven’t been read and critiqued by anyone. I could feel bad that I didn’t send her a pristine, perfect, flawless manuscript. I could kick
myself for not being more careful or for not finding all of the missing commas,
for using bungled sentence structures and getting my theirs and theres
confused, but I won’t. I’ll just blame it on my writing group and their
annoying refusal to read memoirs.
The other problem I have with my writing group is that it takes too long to get an entire book through critique. We only meet a couple times a month and I only get my turn every other meeting. It takes about a year to have every page read and critiqued. It’s simply not fast enough. I want it to be all about me! I want it to be MY writing group. I want them to only focus on making my pages better instead of this annoying turn taking thing we have gong on.
Both of my ‘problems’ are ridiculous of course. I don’t blame them for wanting to stick to fiction. Hell, I prefer reading fiction too.
And of course we take turns. I’ve read a few good books this year and four of them are the books my group has been writing.
If we didn’t trade turns, I’d never have the opportunity to appreciate how fantastically talented they all are.
But it does suck that I don’t have that trusted set of eyes on the memoir I’m writing. I could use their take on things. And I do wish I could get their input faster. I’d like to be able to spit out pages and get instant feedback. I constantly need that blended
group of folks who smack me upside the head when I’m way off track or tell me to rip out entire sections when they get bored to tears.
Seeing all of the red marks and changes my agent left is stark validation that, despite my problems with them, my writing group is important to my process, no matter how much they might annoy me.