Writers' groups can be great. It's helpful to get constructive feedback on your work and satisfying to give it. However, sometimes such groups are dominated by one or more of the following characters, in which case run for your life.
1. THE DEPRESSIVE
She writes poetry about death, suicide, ravens, Satan, rain, sadness, broken hearts, spiders and flies, and funerals. She's prone to bursting into tears while reading her latest creation. The group is afraid to criticize her poems in case it sends her over the edge, although they're tempted.
2. THE WRITER OF EPIC MULTI-VOLUME FANTASY NOVELS
Before he reads his work he has to explain to you the history, culture, geography, topography, language and customs of the people of the land of Fnarr, which he has been creating in his mind since he was five. That's Fnarr II, of course, because Fnarr I was destroyed by Zokitosh, second son of...hey, pay attention!
3. THE BITTER WRITER
This guy knows there's a conspiracy to keep talented newcomers like him out of the writing game. Agents are in on it, publishers are in on it, even the people who run Amazon are in on it, and he has the rejection slips and the zero Kindle sales to prove it. Sit down, he'll tell you all about it. There's a lot.
4. THE APOLOGIST
She spends the first 15 minutes of her reading slot telling you that what she's written really isn't any good, she probably shouldn't even be in this group because she's not as good as everybody else, and she needs to rewrite it. Once she does start reading her work, she interrupts herself to say "I need to rework this next bit" or "ignore this part, it really should be in a different chapter."
If you can't find a writing group that's not dominated by one of these characters, start your own. Show them this post. If they laugh, let them join.
(While you're at, make sure all prospective members of your new group have bought my book, "Your Writing Coach," published by Nicholas Brealey and purchased only by the nicest people.)