Writing is hard. Talking about it is worse.
It was a tough night in writing group. I'm not going to get into the details of what happened, because that's something the group is still dealing with. Our little cabal has been going strong for many years. It's been a great resource and refuge as an amateur author. Writing a book is hard but it gets a little easier when there are some other people standing next to you who can really understand what it means when you complain about editing and revising, or shed some tears with you as those queries go out and silence comes back.
The group is an assemblage of great people who I've shared one of the most intimate parts of my life with. I mean I married one of the people in my writing group. So when we have a tough night it's more like having an argument with my family then anything else.
Its complicated also by the fact that our rough night centered around a critique. Critiques are something I thought we had smoothed out years ago. Giving someone honest responses to their work is inherently intrusive, especially for amateurs like my group. It's tough sometimes to know the right way to say something or realize when the advice you give is unwelcome, at least until after you give it. But its clear we still have learning to do.
I remember when they read my first book. It was something I had sunk four years of almost all of my free time and vacation into. I'd coerced my mom to edit it. I was already working on the cover art. I thought it was basically already on it's way to a best seller list. One person in the group really enjoyed the book as a whole. Out of a group of about eight there was only one person that really like that first draft. So I married her. 😁
It was a hard thing to hear and in some ways my writing changed a lot in our room in the library that day. In other ways I was strengthened and also torn apart. Nobody likes to hear that they have an ugly baby especially from a family member.
We are a family. I really believe that. I hope we can all learn from this and be stronger for it.