Writing Academy, Memoirs, Novels, Short Stories, Book Proposals

New York City Writing Coach

Gay Walley

To my surprise, writing groups work

I have always had a bit of a suspicion about writing groups, preferring the one on one way of working. I thought that groups encouraged mediocrity and a lot of wasted air time. I once wrote that “writers should not be housecats.” How wrong I am! I now run a group every second Wednesday and all the writers have different styles — some are literary, some are writing thrillers, others memoirs — and all the writers’ criticisms and their own work have grown exponentially. Those who were long winded now get to the point. People complete their work, having seen others do it. Those niggling bits where you can’t make up your mind how to handle something get addressed in creative ways by creative people. Not to mention, that all are supportive and humorous. I wish I could join my own group as one of the writers. I think what makes a group work is the spirit of the group — and ours is honest but not holier than thou. There is a desire to help each author achieve their goal and their creativity. Best of all I like the real joy we all have when someone writes a magnificent work. So old dogs can learn new tricks. Like finding the right love, or the right story line, the right group does wonders for your work. And the comraderie gives all a lift, too.