My fiance and I went to Border's to check out the writing group that was going to meet there, in hopes of doing a little socializing and getting some much-needed critiquing buddies. It was a waste. He was worried about being late, but I wanted to see this group in action. Well, we did–four men over eighty years old and one woman who looked in her mid-fifties.
It's not that I don't value the advice of more seasoned writers, but I write genre fiction–and one that's often looked down on by literary fiction and non-fiction writers. As MY old man pointed out (he happens to be 11 years my senior), our writing would have fallen on deaf ears. He's currently tinkering with a fantasy novel idea himself.
So we lingered a bit to listen to one of the oldies read his work, thinking: hey, maybe grandpa's got talent… Mmm… Not so much talent as a lot of time on his hands. My other half recalled, with eyes glazed, the phrase "No one made biscuits like Aunt Martha…" amidst the neverending drone of narritive. I personally can't attest to that, having bailed out in favor of perusing a clearance rack.
This wasn't me making an unfounded assumption. I've been in this spot before. I joined a group where I was one of two twenty-somethings in a group of seniors and the only genre writer. I read my work and NO ONE commented, aside from one woman who thought I should have sang the lyrics to a song I quoted. Never going to put up with that again.
I really don't think these guys can wrap their liverspotted heads around my plot or my writing style. Yes, that's agism and I don't care. I have never claimed to be the most politically correct person. It would have been different if it were four ancients, two middle-aged, three twenty-somethings, and a teenager, but it wasn't. I don't trust single-category group mentality. As it was, this group had absolutely nothing to offer me but an obligation to critique boring narritives. I'm not trying to be the next Ernest Hemmingway. I'm trying to be the next me.
So, there will be another group meeting at the Barnes & Noble in Valparaiso on the 7th. I visited them once before I transferred to VU for a year and became so busy that I never went back. They were a really good group of mixed people. It will turn a 5 minute drive into a 30 minute drive, but I think it's well worth it to finally get myself socialized again. I'm dying to resurrect some sort of a social life.