Putting the Writing in Doo Wop

Handwritten sign on a light pole reads: DooWop singers wanted

Doowop by lightwerk http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightwerk/ / CC BY 2.0

So, writer’s group.

It’s time for a new one. Or at least an additional one. I’ve been contemplating this for a while and haven’t done anything about it because of the how. This was the quicksand I found myself in before I found my current group. Exactly how does one find a good writing group? Do I slap up an ad on Craig’s List? Hang out at coffee shops until one arrives, then pounce? Put up wanted posters on telephone poles?

I was wringing my hands, thinking I would have to start my own and advertise it at the library when the library handed me one on a platter. Not so much a silver one, as a tin and slightly dented one. But at least it was a platter.

Now I’m looking for a group that provides little more one-on-one attention and more in-depth comments. The writer’s group at the library is so big and, because it’s open to the public, the members jump on and off frequently. Sure, there’s a core group, but even that is getting a little large…and since we meet only once a month, there is the distinct possibility that your piece won’t get read for several months.

And, at this point, I’m more interested in finding out if my 100 pages flow and make sense than if my five pages invoke emotions.

Hence the desire for another group. But I come back to the how. I’ve decided against Craig’s List. I don’t like the idea of having to weed through the prospects of a Craig’s List scenario. Perhaps it’s my bias, but I am imagining writing novices and people who only want their bad writing praised to be using CL to find writing groups.

I think with a coffee house stake out I’d find the same problems I have with the library group: too open, too many people, too rotating.

And telephone poles? That’s been taken over by medical trials looking for guinea pigs and get-rich-quick real estate moguls…to say nothing of all the bands looking for Doo Wop singers. I don’t feel like fighting to take back that medium.

Besides, starting from scratch with the “how will the group work,” learning the other person’s critique style, learning to trust the person…it’s a daunting task.

What I’m really looking for is a small, intimate group of writers who are better than me to fall in my lap.

Where’s Aladdin’s lamp?

Some members from the original group and I are discussing a spin-off group. We’ll see if this is the way to go.

How have you found your writer’s group? Or are you still in the process of looking? Am I wrong to discount Craig’s List and coffee houses? Do you have Aladdin’s lamp?


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