Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | January 3, 2012

Why I’m Beginning To Hate Writer Groups (See Post)

It’s become clear in recent weeks that I’m no longer welcome in any writer groups because I choose to be a hard critic of the industry, speaking my own thoughts, or voicing my own opinions.

Whenever I do, I get utter snarkiness and insulting comments along the lines of: “Please shut your pie hole and go take a writer’s class: Because there are people here who know more about writing than you do.”

(Really? Then if you’re better than me, why aren’t you traditionally published yet?)

Or:

“We’re in this for the money, not the craft. We don’t care what you think.” (After they ask me for my opinion, or a critique of course.)

Case in point: Someone had posted something about how horrible her dialogue was in the past and then I asked her for a “sample”. (I was half-joking by the way.)

The said contact obliged and I looked at it and gave her my two cents along the lines that I thought that there were a couple of bad segments, but the rest read fine to me. Then I read the article that came with it and went, “Oh.” (Light bulb switched on here.)

(The contact then said that there was nothing wrong with her dialogue–which I interpreted before there was.)

After that, I shared a little “insight” on my own thoughts on how dialogue should be written (like a painting using all the elements) and told the contact to go “nuts”. Then I mentioned in an afterthought how I sometimes like to dump information on the reader in between bits of dialogue–thinking: This should garner me a point or two.

But no…that didn’t happen.

I got railroaded. AGAIN.

The same person (as I mentioned before) told me in not so eloquent terms to shut up and take a writer’s class and/or leave the group instead of being “obnoxious” all the time and treating the writing business badly–even though the group (supposedly) is all about self-publishing!

So it got me thinking: Me take a writer’s class? How? I can’t afford one to begin with. And two? All they teach are the basics. I’m years ahead of everyone else and I’ve already learned everything there is to learn about writing.

It would be like a math major with a degree in physics asked to go back to school and learn basic addition and multiplication all over again–because he happened to step on one too many toes in his field of expertise. (Because his views were different from the rest of his colleagues.)

I would be wasting my time and money on something I’ve already learned on my own: How to write, how to carry dialogue, sentence structure, characters, action, beats, suspense, drama, cliff hangers, hooks, etc, etc, etc…the list goes on.

I didn’t just spend 25 years reading and writing on my own to be told that I have no place in a writer’s group because I habitually ruffle people’s feathers from time to time.

But what’s been pissing me off is how some people are still striving to mold me into something that I don’t want: I don’t want to be like everyone else. I don’t want to follow the crowds.

Part of self-publishing is to do things your way. Not the mainstream’s. And not every one else’s. You call the shots. You get to make the decisions that affect your future as a promising writer.

Y’know?

If you don’t want to value other people’s input, how can you call yourself a writing group?

But this is what I get for being a liberal.

Can’t speak my mind. Can’t do shit. ^_^

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Responses

  1. Sky follow your own path and your own dreams………….we cannot follow another’s path. Be yourself and write your way. The ones who harass you will eat their words someday.

    • Looks that way, doesn’t it? But it’s something that I’ve had to deal with all my life. :0)

  2. I enjoyed your rant. Agree with most of what you said, but I’d argue that you already know everything there is to know about writing. Because i doubt that anyone ever does. Okay, maybe after 25 years. At least enough to know whether something you’re writing now or have just written needs more work.

    But people don’t want to hear that. They don’t want to hear that something they’ve just turned out and are bloated with pride over, actually isn’t as good as they think.

    • Well, to be blunt, I take a lot of pride in what I do as writer. I write with a passion that *shows* in my writing. Most authors are too concentrated on following the crowd. They’re more interested in the exposure, the money, and the glamour that comes with the territory. I’m just in it for the craft.

      I’m not suggesting that my writing is *better* than anyone else’s. But it does need work after it’s done. Nothing comes out totally perfect. But I’ve spent more time learning the ropes on writing on my own than I did focused on publishing books. Reason why it’s taken me far longer than usual to get a book out.

      However, I don’t think I’ve learned all there is to writing–just enough to know that I can hold my own without the need for a chaperone.

      But like I told someone else on this blog, I’m patient.


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