Leaving the writers' group meeting the other night I thanked the guy who organized it. I have really enjoyed it and got great feedback on the longer piece I gave them to read. They both liked it and seemed to like my characters. That made me feel good.
I am in a group with three writers who write completely different styles. I can see how this could be detrimental in the long run, but for now we are all new enough at this that any critique is helpful.
We are two men and one woman. I am the genre fiction writer. The other guy is more of what I would call the epic novelist. I can see him writing the big family story that spans decades. The woman of our group writes historical fiction for kids, and she does it very well. Very well. I have read some young adult fiction and her voice fits right in with that.
I feel like my work is being critiqued by writers who are at the same skill level that I am, and I know that after praising the other writers that can sound kind of cocky. But I am relieved at what I got back. It was two different kinds of critique. One delved more into style things that I should look at. The other was getting more at believability and consistency issues.
I am rambling now so let me try and get back to my point. I thanked the guy who organized the group because I think it has made me more productive than I have been in years.
I have finished two stories in less than a month. I am close to finishing another. The words and ideas are coming easier and I like that. This is almost all to do with the group. I used to think that I needed a block of time that I used as writing time, at least a dedicated hour. Now, knowing that others are expecting 20 pages from me every two weeks, I don't want to let them down. I am making time to write where I can find it. I'll snatch 15 minutes here or half an hour there. I write in the morning, able to crank out a page or two while I eat breakfast.
Now, this may all be crap. The words and stories may be awful. But I am not worried about that now. I am just enjoying this wave while it's mine to ride.