I have been writing, in one way or another, for more years than I care to count. During that time, I’ve dabbled on the outskirts of writing communities: a workshop here and there; an editing group, online courses; once, a writing circle via mail. But I had never found the opportunity to be involved with a writers group, partly due to my penchant for living away from metropolitan areas for much of my adult life.
I would read with envy about writers spending weeks at retreats, days working on communal projects, evening soirees with like-minded souls but, as a full-time worker living away from the cosmopolitan enclaves of the city writers, such opportunities were harder to come by.
As friends and regular readers would know, I always refer to myself as a late bloomer so it probably comes as no surprise that I am finally turning up [very late] to the table of a writers group. In fact I formed the group myself and waited nervously on that first night, trying to anticipate and imagine the people who’d indicated they’d come along, wondering how we would all fit together.
What a delightful bunch they turned out to be!
Our Stanthorpe Writers Group is a band of a dozen at the moment (with room to grow a little) and we are a mixed bunch with poets, journos, short-story writers, a historical novelist and memoirist amongst our numbers.
We have had some wonderful presentations by group members on subjects as diverse as research, characterisation and flash fiction. I learn something new at every monthly meeting and I get great enjoyment in critiquing work by other writers and having my own pieces picked over. It improves our writing enormously to have input and suggestions from others.
So, to come back to my headline, if I had one piece of advise for young writers it would be to Get Thee to a Writers Group immediately and soak up the information, advice and friendship.