WRITING: Group Therapy

We’ve attempted to rekindle an on-campus writing group that survived for about three years before dwindling down to a dedicated two or three.  There seemed to be a call for it; potential new writers who hadn’t been around when the old group was active.  But getting together a bunch of people who are truly dedicated in their need to write and working around schedules is a tough thing to do.

Initially the group forms as the fallout of a creative writing class. While a large portion of the populace "has a novel in them," most don’t have the ambition or time to put in the effort that writing requires and the desire takes a backseat to the demands of career, family, or the allure of other hobbies and interests.  There are some more serious writers who prefer to follow the lonely road of writing and simply may not need the interaction and camaraderie of a group.  The romantic image of Dylan and Shelley and Keats in a cafe discussing craft and social movements doesn’t fit with the modern chaos of life.

There are many successful gatherings of writers and it’d be interesting to study the criteria to understand whether their standing is based on location, social interest, immersion in the field, availability of time, or an inner need to be involved in the craft on a level above and beyond the chair and laptop.

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