Goodbye Writers Group


For days I’ve worked on how I would phrase this blog entry. I figure that I’ll just state the facts and then proceed to give my opinions lower down, for people who want to know more if you’re interested. So here goes:

I have been kicked out of my writers group.

The story, from my perspective:

My writers group has been a fantastic sourse of networking and information. I have used it to get my writing going and it’s inspired me that I may actually have the skills to get my work published. But with all groups of people, there are different personalities. Unfortunately my personality clashes with the ‘owner’ of the group.

The reason I put the word owner in quotes is because the group is through meetup.com, a fantastic site for organizing groups. You do have to pay a small fee to run a group so technically there is an owner who administers the whole thing. The meetup went as follows: a week before we meet, everyone e-mails their submissions to the group. We all read them, print them out, and proceed to give feedback at the actual physical location we meet. I attended 4 or 5 meetups and they went very well. The group was maxed out at six people per event to keep it small. I got to read good writing and it was nice to have some professional feedback.

Here’s where it started to go down-hill. For whatever reason people were not able to make the meetups and only a day before it was to be just myself and the owner. Since I felt this was a waste of time, I bailed out and set my RSVP to a no either the night before or the same day. I admit it wasn’t the best move, but I figured there’s no reason to go if it’s just two people.

Fast forward to April where I RSVP yes. A few days before, realizing I didn’t have access to a computer, I find a past unused submission and forward it to the group via my iPhone. This original message had the owners previous submission on it that I was not able to edit out, due to e-mailing from a cell phone. Apparently that was a bad move. The day of the meetup, I have a hang-up at the airport and I end up spending an extra night down south that causes me to miss the meetup. I wasn’t even in the same state. I e-mail the owner to let him know what is going on and that I cannot make it, and I apologize. I get no response.

A few days later, I get a lengthy e-mail. Rather than paraphrase, I’m posting it. I’ve taken out his name because I guess I should

Subject: I’d appreciate it if you’d consider joining another writing group.

Aaron,

I’d appreciate it if you’d consider joining another writing group,
rather than continuing to attend the Suffolk County Writers
Workshops.

One group to consider is Amateur Writers of Long Island:
(http://writers.meetup.com/664/)

You’ve been a no-show at the last two meetings. And while
it’s no one’s fault that you were bumped from your plane, your
prior no-show was rooted in the explanation that there weren’t
enough people coming to the meeting.

No-shows, as you know, take seats from others who might attend a meeting, and reflect badly on the group for people who do make
the effort to attend.

A no-show also wastes people’s time, in that people go to the trouble
to critique your work and discuss that work with you in person, only
to find that you don’t show up for the meeting.

In addition, your decision to forward Part 6 of my work to Mary
by email because it was too much trouble for you to create a fresh
email to the group was troubling to me, and confusing to Mary.
Mary showed up to the meeting with copies of Part 1 and Part 6,
unsure which Part she was supposed to have critiqued.

I also didn’t appreciate the fact that you forwarded my original
work to someone without my permission. Not cool.

Bottom line: I think you’ll be happier in another group.

Best of luck.

-**Name Removed**

I think this post is long enough as-is, so I’ll post more tomorrow including my response. This is a true clash of personalities and in my opinion someone who has an ego problem and takes things way too seriously.

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  1. July 16th, 2008

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