A bad writers group is like a small town. Everyone knows everyone else’s business. There’s always a town gossip who spreads the nasty rumors, and loves to watch drama unfold. There’s the town lecher, who spends all his/her time leering at their preferred gender, usually trolling for naked pictures. This may or may not be also the town drunk, who can tell you what kind of wine/spirits to drink for your preferred genre. There’s the professor, who always has writing advice, but never seems to be able to back it up with their own writing. Of course, you can’t forget the town golden child, who farts rainbows and glitter, which coalesce into a first draft, with nary a comma out of place. If it goes on long enough, it gets incestuous. The plot bunnies interbreed, characters combine, and sometimes, in extreme cases, there is fanfic of each other’s unpublished writing. Everyone has dated everyone else at some point, and they become suspicious of newcomers intruding on “their” space. Stay away, unless you like being in a real life version of Gossip Girls.
A good writers group, on the other hand, is a unicorn. They are almost impossible to find, and when you have one, you are very, very lucky. Supportive and fun, they’re what keep you going when you think “Why the hell am I doing this?!” They push just enough to keep you going until you find your own pace, and cheer you on along the way.
Have you had a good or bad writers group? Any funny stories?