I just joined one here in Houston, and I've been trying to figure out when to attend one since they meet for different reasons and the ones I wanted to go to, so far, haven't been good dates. But I do plan to partipate.
I've particpated on a MeetUp on publishing a couple of years back and that was very insightful, but they stopped meeting. Also, people who were there to sale their services started to make up most of the group, so it messed up the atmosphere.
But I think they're awesome! Especially if you're in a big city. In smaller areas, there aren't much groups to particpate in anything. I think I'll participate in a Meetup that go to movies!
I think the problem with these kinds of groups is finding peers, and by "peers" I mean people who at about your own writing experience and skill, so you don't become the teacher of a bunch of newbies or the newbie wasting the time of people you can't really help much yet. Especially when you narrow it down to a genere like sci-fi. Besides, sci-fi authors are a creepy lot. I don't think we should be in the same room. Stuff might start to melt.
I went to one Meetup and never went back. Completely missed the purpose as being intended for writing, not networking time. I can get much more accomplished on my own without sitting next to strangers in a crowded. noisy Starbucks.
Well I live on an island and I think there are a couple of writer's who live upcountry that get together for coffee and that's about it here. Seriously, I've attended 6 writer's conferences, and I have learned that all authors are not created equal. I believe someone in the thread already mentioned the issue of finding "peers." I write nonfiction/self help so I find I have better luck connecting with like-minded writers in online author groups.
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