Writers groups – Love ’em or Hate ’em?

critiquegroupI’m suspicious of writers group and always have been. Rooms full of snobbish literary people with little or no talent all trying to write some arty, farty, schmantzy words – that no one else will understand (you’ll need a dictionary every tenth word), sitting in darkened rooms and talking about how it’s all art etc.

Well, sigh, shuffle feet, blush….. Ummm. Maybe some are like that. But not all and if yesterday is anything to go by…. I am an IDIOT, a prejudiced and snobby imbecile.

You see, I was a writers event virgin and i’ve just lost my “writers group” cherry and wanted to talk to you about why if you’re a writer there are much worse things you could do to fill your time…. I am very embarrassed that it took me so long to go to one of these dagnamit things. I have to tell you those guys were gentle too….

I went to the Writing West Midlands event in Stafford (link here to west midlands writing groups – http://www.writingwestmidlands.org/regional-activity/writing-groups/). Just in case you’re in the area.

I’m not sure what I was so afraid of? Ridicule? People who are weird? – well that’s every writerer, like ever – so…

There were two guest speakers and a group of about ten to twelve people. The speakers talked about what writing is and means to them… The lovely scriptwriter and generalist Mr William Gallagher, who also has an awesome blog… Here – http://williamgallagher.com.

And a lovely lady who is a creativity coach! Working with diverse artists from those in hip hop to novelists.

There was one other lady, an author Sallie Tams, who made me feel like she was a friend, I hadn’t met yet…. Her book – “What We Didn’t Say…” (I’ve got complete title envy) is on Amazon. I haven’t read it, but if her writing is anything like she is, you won’t regret picking up a copy. I’m waiting for my copy to arrive.

i’d forgotten what it would mean to me, to feel like I wasn’t completely insane and no one else is going to get it like another writer. Because we all feel it. The slightly absurd itch to put squiggly marks on paper that hopefully someone else will read and get something from…..

Next time you’re considering it. The whole meet other writers – thing. I suggest you just go, who knows maybe someone will speak to your heart like they did to mine yesterday. Or maybe it will be a complete nightmare, but think about it? What have you got to lose, even if they’re all nuts (and we all are, but in a good way, not a bad way – we don’t kill people, just characters – usually) at least you’ll have something to write “about”.


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