Why do writers like to hang out together?

writers groups


I had the opportunity this week to attend three different writing groups.

Wednesday was an afternoon gig with the Silver Leos, a group that meets in the alumni center of Texas A&M at Commerce, a branch of Texas A&M situated in the north Texas berg of Commerce. It was my first chance to spend time with this group of writers. About forty of them gathered to hear Caleb Pirtle and me talk about the digital revolution and audiobooks. While we were in town, Caleb and I also dropped by the public library and browsed books for sale as part of the friends of the library organization.  There is just nothing like visiting small town libraries, one of the few true throwbacks to an earlier time.

Thursday found me at the monthly meeting of NETWO, the Northeast Texas Writers’ Organization, in Mt. Vernon, Texas.

Friday night was the East Texas Writers’ Association (ETWA) in Longview, Texas.

Why do writers like to hang out together?

I think the irony is that we spend so much time locked away in our private worlds that we take comfort in knowing we are not the only crazy ones out there.

It’s not that we aren’t crazy, but that there are plenty of other crazies  just like us.

I love the shop talk around the table at such meetings.

Who is working on what, who is ready to throw in the towel, who has thrown in the towel, who should have thrown in the towel long ago.

There are young people who want to be John Green, middle-aged folks who want to be Nicholas Sparks, and old codgers who have given up wanting to be anyone but themselves. There are the old heads who have written for fifty years, and newbies who have yet to write a complete sentence.

But they all love to sit around and listen to stories, tell lies, dream dreams.

I’m right there with them.

When you stop moving around they throw dirt on you, an old guy told me not too long ago.

We go to writers’ meeting to stay one step ahead of the shovel.

And that’s not a bad reason to do something.



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