michaeldthomas: (Default)
[personal profile] michaeldthomas
Yesterday, I escaped from the house in order to start the next round of revisions on The Scarlet Queen. I chose the B&N Cafe as my coffeehouse of the day. I've had some good writing sessions there over the last couple of months since it's pretty quiet.

Big mistake on this particular Sunday.

I had to sit down near the outlets (my battery is nearly dead on my laptop). Next to my table was a large group of boisterous geeks. They were talking about Doctor Who, World of Warcraft, Firefly, and Anime. I figured they were a gaming group or something.

I opened my document, put on my iPod, and began revising. 45 minutes later, I overheard one of them ask the group if they should free write to a writing prompt. I then noticed the reserved table tents.

This was an SF/F writing group.

For a moment, I became excited. Was this the local group I always wanted to join?

Four of the ten wrote for a few minutes as the others continued reading magazines, chatting, and sewing costumes. The four then read their finished paragraphs out loud after exclaiming how much their work sucked (they weren't wrong).

Without critique or commentary, the group then went back to chit chat, mostly about where to buy awesome Steampunk boots. That went on for the next hour.

While they did this, I revised two chapters.

I considered introducing myself, but I realized that I would come off as Victor Kennedy from "Love & Monsters." I would end up telling them that THEY WERE DOING IT WRONG. (Not to mention all of my unintentional obnoxious name dropping.)

I forgot to mention another reason why I write at B&N. From those tables, I can see the SF/F section. I can look up and view the novels and collections of my friends. That's my goal. This isn't a hobby. I'm writing because I must, but also because I want to share my stories with others and earn a little bit of money from the process.

Do these people want the same things? Perhaps a couple , but I doubt it for most of them. If this meeting was anything to go by, writing is just another geeky endeavor for them. It's an excuse to hang with your peeps and screw around on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I don't begrudge them their hobby, but I'm in a place in my career where it rubs me wrong. Writing is hard work. A writing group should teach, help, and inspire. It should make you a better, more focused writer.

So, I didn't find my local writing group. Next week, it's back to the Caribou.
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michaeldthomas

August 2011

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