With many writing groups on the internet, we find people writing about things that get us all riled up with “what is a real writer”, “how should we define ourselves”, “what publishing route we should use”. If we are lucky, we have threads that start us on projects, and groups that promote the actual writing of fiction. Most of the time, however, all we’re going to find is a bunch of people standing around talking about how we’re going to sell it rather than fun and interesting ways we’re going to create it.
This may have a lot to do with why I don’t sell much. I’m just having too much fun writing content than I am worrying about how I’m going to market it. Marketing is all well and good, but, we’re missing the foundation most of the time. We’re spending too much time worrying about what type of writers we are, arguing about what a “real” writer is, and bragging about who’s paying their rent with their writing than we ever do actually developing our skills as a writer.
Sure, I see it sometimes, in writing groups; on a good day. Most of the time, however, I see this place like my local mall when it comes to variety; closing down one store to put in another clothing store, across from the clothing store, which happens to be between two clothing stores. What I see here is post after post of marketing strategy, judgement over how we define ourselves (What does it mean to be a “Writer” or “Author) and other people (endless arguments over whether we should call Jack a “Writer” or an “Author”) when we’re missing out on the fun of writing.
I feel this place needs more topics related to sentence structure, plot ideas, ways to make characters believable, and world-building.
These online writing groups remind me of a bunch of divers, floating on the surface of the ocean, talking about how to monetize their diving and forgetting that they need to do that back flip and actually get into the water. They’re all for talking about what tanks to get, but rarely ever talk about ways to regulate their breathing, or methods to clear the mask to make the experience of diving more fun to begin with, but they sure will be willing to direct you to the best wet-suit dealer, or express their opinions on what type of a diver you are, without having ever really dived in with you.