I’m enjoying life at the moment. I’m still in limbo of course (and, much to our frustration, it seems our limbo-ness is going to continue for a few more weeks), but I’ve been getting out and about, discovering things and meeting people. I’ve even had a go at what will eventually be my new job.

It’s really rural here, and everyone seems to think that there is not much to do but already, it seems I have a better social life than I did at home! We’re going to a music night tomorrow night – kind of an open-mic style thing. There’s another one next week too. It’s not as hectic, but because there ‘isn’t as much to do’, people tend to make things to do. Okay, there is no big bowling alley or shopping centre – at least not without a good drive, but there seems to be lots of clubs and groups, people who get together and make their own entertainment. And that’s both quaint and charming. There’s a real community buzz, and I love it.

So I’ve been chatting to people about what sorts of things they would like to do around here, what sorts of things we could start once we finally get settled in our new place, with our new job; and there have been a few suggestions. For me, the most obvious one is a book club. I’m already missing my book club from back home, and I can’t wait to get my teeth into a new one.

Then someone suggested a writers’ group and I’ll admit, I’m intrigued. I’ve never been to one before, never even really thought about it. I did some research online and to be honest, I didn’t discover much. There are lots of articles with tips on how to make your group successful, and so on, but not really much on what a writers’ group actually does.

I’m guessing it’s not just a group of folks sat around a table, scribbling away at the notebooks or with fingers flying over a keyboard. I suppose it could work like a critique circle but that might be difficult to manage and it may make the meetings boring for some. Perhaps we could talk about writing related topics – writing, publishing, book news, etc. But how would that come about? Would we set an agenda for each meeting in advance?

So it’s definitely something I’m thinking about. I’d like to start something like that, as long as we could find enough people to come along, but I feel a little out at sea, a little out of my comfort zone. I’m not sure how to take this forward because I wouldn’t know how to pitch the idea to people.

I found some good tips here, but I guess I’d like to hear something from those who actually attend something like this. So are you part of a writers’ group? What sorts of things do you do? And what do you like and dislike about it?

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11 thoughts on “Friday Feels…Thoughtful: On Creating A Writers’ Group

  1. Interesting Riley. I believe you are fairly rural. Were you thinking of purely a physical presence, or including online, maybe Skype? Whoops there goes the weekly allowance.
    I read the link and it sounds a bit ‘back to school.’ Perhaps a more relaxed, social occasion would work better? You could allocate a segment of time to each writer so they could ask questions on their particular problems, get feedback on their work etc.
    Apart from that, you could have a topic for each meeting, one evening blogs, another FB and other social media, what works and what doesn’t. Also how to find a publisher, compare what support they do or don’t give, the advantages and disadvantages of the Indie route.
    I’m sure there would be plenty of interest, even from non writers who might be fascinated in learning how things work, especially if there was vino and cake involved. 😀
    I’ll be interested in seeing how things work out. x

    1. I think you’re right – relaxed is the way to go. I don’t think people want a strict, regimented style group but rather, a social evening where we can bounce ideas off each other and talk about these sorts of things.

      I hadn’t really thought of taking it online too, but there is no reason that couldn’t be included.

      Thanks for your input! This is more and more becoming something I’d like to do – I think I’ll put some ‘feelers’ out there to see if I can drum up some interest!

  2. I belong to two very different writers’ groups, one with a tutor and the other accidental ( long story) in our homes – well the informal one we have to make an effort to stop gossiping and get on with reading our ‘pieces’. I think the main difference between not being in a group and ‘belonging’ is the feedback and enjoyment of talking with other writers. If two or more of you gather, if each person has a chance to read something they’ve written and if the others show their appreciation AND offer constructive remarks – Voila – it is a Writing Group.

    1. Thanks for your input Janet. I think I’d definitely go down the more relaxed route – more of a social event with a writers’ theme or something along those lines.

      Do you read your writing out loud to the group?

      1. Yes we always read aloud – the very first time I was going to the formal writer’s group my husband exclaimed in horror ‘So you are going into a room full of strangers and reading your writing out LOUD?’
        I replied that I supposed it would be rather like AA ‘My name is Janet and I am a writer.’
        You soon discover missed mistakes when you start to read!
        BUT a good writing group does not force anyone to read if they haven’t actually written anything, or are not in the mood. At our informal group we also print spare copies for anyone with hearing problems.

      2. hehe I think it would take me some getting used to, but it sounds great! The idea of printing it out for those with hearing problems is really good.
        It sounds like your groups are lots of fun 🙂

  3. I’m part of a local writers group and we have a deadline for the 15th of every month where we submit a maximum of 20 pages of something to the leader of our group. Then we critique each other’s pieces and meet at our local library the last Wednesday of the month and we all go over each other’s work. So it is basically a critique group. But it’s a lot of fun. You make new friends and have a lot of support.

    1. That sounds like it would be lots of fun and beneficial at the same time! I’m definitely going to mention it to others in my area, see if I can get a group together.

      Thanks for your input!

  4. I run a group here in Bahrain and you can find out more about it at the link provided below. We meet three times a month. Once a month we have a ‘general’ meeting at which we get a speaker – a published author from our group or someone else (self published or through a publisher) to talk about the writing process or what worked for them. We’ve had local print publication editors come in and talk about material they’d like to receive and what works for their readers. We’ve had a retail bookseller come and tell us about local buying habits and similar.You could get someone to talk to your members via Skype – the international writing community is very helpful. One meeting is dedicated to our poets – we have many people interested in writing and presenting poetry, and we’re currently working towards our annual Colours of Life poetry festival. And the third monthly meeting is a workshop where we talk about the craft of writing – plot arcs, opening lines, character development, scene/ setting. There’s lots of online material for that. And once a month we have a challenge that’s critiqued by a writer from somewhere else in the world!
    We do everything on WordPress! And here’s our website (still a w-i-p)
    https://bahrainwriterscircle.wordpress.com
    and here’s where we publish our monthly challenges:
    https://bahraincreativewritersblog.wordpress.com

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