Lauren: Writers who don’t have a publisher leaning over them must set their own deadlines. And that’s what a lot of writers do. Writers who are published, who are out there publishing books, they’re setting deadlines. They treat it like a job. Even though they might have a day job, they treat (writing and promoting their works) like a job.
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Susan: But that happens here — Steve once stayed up to 2 o’clock in the morning with an edit because he was afraid of holding us up. It’s that peer review of making sure “It’s not my story that’s causing us not to progress.” No one wanted to be in that position. It’s not an artificial deadline. It’s real. So instead of putting it off, you’re getting it done.
Lauren: I think the reason you guys stay together and a lot of writers groups break up is they respect each other. Those rules. You don’t tear each other apart. Because I’ve heard so much about writers groups that break up because people don’t respect each other. Someone thinks they’re better than everyone else.
Fay: Susan was saying that this group turned her loose. Everybody in this group has been turned loose in their creativity. Sometimes by doing things that are outside our comfort zone in an exercise. Or hearing something here that turns you loose. That’s why we gather.
Who the writers are
Steve Fehlauer, 53, of Hagerstown, planning to return to college
Karel Henneberger, 72, of Smithsburg, retired
Darlene Hewett, 69, of Hagerstown, retired
Mildred Hluchy, 78, of Hagerstown, retired substitute school teacher
George Johnson, 81, of Hagerstown, retired school teacher
Tom Logan, 70, of Hedges-ville, W.Va., retired college administrator
Alice McCarthy, 62, of Martinsburg, W.Va., substitute teacher
Fay Moore, 58, of Williamsport, farmer and property manager
Vera Sines-Klank, 30, of Rockville, Md., pet sitter, artist and costume designer
Susan Stepnick, 54, of Hagerstown, executive director of Porter Fieldhouse Foundation in Boonsboro