Making artificial deadlines real.

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Artificial deadlines are artificial. That’s the trouble with them. I have a task list. It’s long. Some of the items on it are much more involved than a few words next to a check-box would suggest. Each of those items, including things like “Enter Writers of the Future contest” and “Post episode 10 of Compass” has a date next to it.

Then the date passes, and nothing has been done. Because the deadline was artificial.

I’m still searching for a good writing group, other people to whom I can be accountable, who will help and encourage me to meet my goals. It looks like summer is the worst of all times to do find one. The professional genre groups, like Altered Fluid, are closed to new members, and Meetup groups like Brooklyn Writers League seem to only meet in fits and starts, or on days I’m not available.

I decided it was time for me to start a group of my own. For now, it’s call the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers Group, though I think one of our first orders of business will be to come up with a snappier name. This is the first time I’ve run a group like this since the early 90’s, when I started a chapter of the Gaylactic Network in Denver with a group of friends. But that’s another story.

For now, I’m inviting a horde of speculative fiction writers to descend on my apartment every month. What I want from this is encouragement, support and an atmosphere of constructive criticism that will help me and other writers get better at our craft. I know I have a lot to share, and I’ll bet others do too.

And it will be a group of people who are expecting something from me, on a regular basis. It’s my way of making artificial deadlines into real goals.

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