Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Writing Group Presentation: Part One

Well, I had my second presentation on "The Care and Feeding of Writing Groups" last night and had two folks show up. Not a big audience but we had good conversation and I did end up selling one book so you could say I sold to fifty percent of the audience. That doesn't sound bad. Since not a lot of folks heard my presentation, I thought I might run it as a series here on the blog. It was quite a lot of work to just give to four people.  Below is part 1:

Part 1: Introduction.

Good _____ (insert time when you are reading this). Welcome. Thanks for coming.

Our topic here is on writing groups, but first let me introduce myself.

My name is Charles Gramlich, and I’ll confess that I’m a writer. That’s like  confessing I’m weird. But I bet I’m not the only one here. (I see you all out there in the blogosphere.)

I live in Abita Springs, Louisiana but teach at Xavier University in New Orleans. When I mention my other life as a college teacher, most assume English Professor. Nope. I’m in psychology. When I tell people I’m a psychologist, most assume I’m clinical. No again. I’m a biological psychologist, which means I study the brain.

I’m here (not really) with other members of my current writing group: Louisiana Inklings. We were founded May 22, 2008, by Alfred Olinde.

Other members include: Al Burstein, Sandra Loucks, D’Wanna Haynes, Sara Dickey, Laurie Walsdorf, Elizabeth Barilleaux, Isabella MacDonald Smith, and Mike Malloy.

Years before I became interested in psychology, I thought about being a writer. It came out of my love of reading. It started with me wanting to tell stories to myself like the ones I got so much pleasure out of.

I wrote my first book at 18. A western. It was awful and will never see the light of day. But I learned a lot from it. At 24, I wrote my second book, which eventually was published. After much rewriting.

I also wrote some short stories in grad school but became serious about trying to get published in 1988, after 2 years at Xavier. My first stories sold in 1989 and I date my writing life from there. So, I’ve been doing it a long time now.

In my first few years I had no writing group. Didn’t even know such things existed. I joined a small one at Xavier in 1993 and have been in one type of group or another ever since. Having a group is important to me. Maybe it could be for you. So let’s talk about writing groups. 
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17 comments:

Cloudia said...

Great intro. . . .





ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
<3

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, does your being a psychologist give you an edge or insight while writing out your own characters and while reading about characters created by other writers? Thanks for sharing your writing group presentation.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Nice beginning. Very friendly yet professional.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

This will be cool...

Paul R. McNamee said...

What Alex said. :) Cool.

sage said...

You're off to a good start... as for writing groups (I've never been in one outside of a class), what suggestions can you give for male writers. All the groups i know are almost exclusively women who are mostly interested in romance. While I admit, being with a group of women has it upside, with my eccentric interest in writing (history, academic, creative non-fiction and just beginning to dip by toe into the fiction pond) where do you suggest I find a writing group?

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, thankee.

Prashant, I'd like to think it does but I don't know for sure. I guess it's a pretty subjective issue.

Patti, thanks.

Alex, I appreciate that!

Paul, thumbs up.

Sage, my group is about half and half men and women. I'll be discussing some things related to your questions as the series goes on.

Ty said...

Nice introduction. Too bad I don't live near you, 'cause I would have shown.

Vesper said...

"and I’ll confess that I’m a writer. That’s like confessing I’m weird"

I can definitely relate to that. Great introduction, Charles. I like your reason for wanting to become a writer. Here, again, I can relate. :-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Ty, the two folks who came were a pretty good audience.

Vesper, I guess probably a lot of writers start that way. I should take a poll.

Brian Miller said...

nice...you set yourself up nicely...if you want to seriously write a group is vital...they will help form you...and your writing...but def they are not easy to put together and values have to be agreed upon...

Charles Gramlich said...

Brian, there are many pitfalls but I do think the benefits outweigh the costs.

SzélsőFa said...

Wow I am so glad to be able to read your presentation here!

Charles Gramlich said...

Szelsofa, glad you are enjoying!

Riot Kitty said...

Like confessing to being weird! I love it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Riot Kitty, I imagine you know whereof I speak. :)

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I enjoyed every installment. I don't envy you taking on the group editor task. That would be the stuff of nightmares for me. :)