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Posts Tagged ‘Writer’s groups’

This week felt good, writing-wise.

I got my Christmas poem done, just in time for publication of the local newsletter, and despite not a lot of time to refine it I was quite pleased with how it came out. It had a rhyme scheme which isn’t my usual thing but I thought would be better for the audience who would probably be more comfortable with that style than with blank verse. It also incorporated the ideas I wanted to convey about thinking of others and kindness to each other – it was a bit less subtle than I would normally like to be but I was time-limited and quite honestly I don’t know that subtlety would have worked in any case. It’s out there now, at any rate, and I hope it gets a few people thinking and a few more enquiries about the writing group.

I have also organised the first writing group Christmas meal – following the positive feedback on Thursday, it makes me feel quite proud of how far we’ve come!

So – what next? Well, I have a lot of work to do to get me back on track with the whodunnit; I really did stop completely with this when my nana got ill and I haven’t gone back to it. I want to get this completed before Christmas and move on to something else.

Specifically, I want to move on to my completed novel: re-read it, polish it where required, and decide on its future. I have an idea, a plan if you will, but it’s going to take a bit of time so I want a clear run at it. I don’t want the whodunnit hanging over it making me feel like I need to rush or that I have to split my attention.

I also want to review my poetry – I have a lot of bits of poems in folders and on my computer and I need to organise them into a proper portfolio of work, then start doing more open mike events and performances.

That’s probably my New Year Resolution in a nutshell – do more with the writing I’ve done!

So this has been a good week, because I’ve finished a piece and submitted it to the human gaze; I had a positive writing group; I made some writing decisions.  Next week, I need to have a good week closing in on the whodunnit ending so I can put it away and go back to my firstborn novel.

For the first week in ages I produced something in my writing time, and I want to build on the buzz that has given me.

Roll on next week!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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It’s about 10.20pm and I’ve just got in from my writing group. It was a bit of an odd evening, but it was a good night.

It seems a long time ago when I decided that I should set up my own group to meet my own desires, and someone said something today that really made me proud.

They have published their book via Amazon and have sold a number of copies, both print and Kindle, and they said they wouldn’t have done it without the group. They may have written without us, but we were the catalyst for publishing this year, for just getting their work out into the world.

It’s amazing what a writing support group can achieve – people writing and performing poetry for the first time in their lives; people writing their first novels; people publishing their own works.

I really do think having a network of like-minded people can do a writer wonders – and if you can’t find what you want, build it yourself!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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I’ve just got in from writing group, where we have decided to set ourselves a little winter challenge – to each produce something for our local newsletter for publishing between December and January.

To get us all in the mood we spent some writing time on a few seasonally appropriate haiku. Now, as I’ve said before, I love this form of writing as it’s so accessible to writers who are new to poetry or who lack confidence in writing poetry.

I thought I’d share one I wrote today, just for fun:

An eiderdown fall:
The world is feathery white –
Our noses are numb.

Happy writing

EJ

🙂

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As it’s the last Thursday of the month I’ve been at writing group, where there was a lot of talk about how to do things – how to run a competition, how to present a script, how to publish a memoir.

We used to have a kid’s TV show here called How 2, which explained how to do all sorts of things that kids might want to know about – it was science, maths and design all rolled in together, fun and educational at the same time (well, I think so anyway!). We could have done with a few of their solutions today.

Unfortunately as writers there are very few answers that have a guaranteed outcome. Everything has pros and cons, and it is up to us to research them and decide for ourselves which options are the best.

Sometimes you can’t know, and you have to take a stab in the dark, rely on blind faith, trust your judgement – or any one of a hundred clichés you may have heard.  Sometimes you have to go all Nike and Just Do It.

So take one thing, stop asking how, and start saying when.  Give yourself permission to do things differently and see where it takes you.

It might just take you to a whole new set of possibilities!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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It’s the last Thursday of the month so tonight was writing group, and we tried out a new location. The place we usually meet is lovely, convenient and friendly, but a little too noisy as we don’t have a space where we can close the door.

Tonight we tried somewhere with a door. It was quieter, but I did eat more chips… 🙂 It was also a little further away, through some narrow country lanes.

It occurred to me today that everywhere I go, I travel through the English countryside. I travel to work via back routes past fields and farms; or I head to the nearest town by driving through woods. When I go to my trapeze class I get double bubble: countryside and coastline.

It wasn’t a conscious life plan to live in this place, but I am very happy we ended up here.

This evening I read out a poem about walking through the village one day. I have been told before that my best poetry is my nature poetry, and although I don’t know that I agree with that assessment entirely, I do think that the peace and beauty of nature come off the page.

It’s a poem I couldn’t have written ten years ago, when the evening walks were through housing estates, the sounds of twilight were the double-click of a car door locking and the jangle of keys in someone’s hand. I didn’t know what it was like to live in a place where you can hear sheep baaing in a field most evenings, or the clip clop of horses on the road most days.

Towns and cities have their own beauty and joy, and I can explore that too, now I have the tools in my writing arsenal. But I’m not sure I’d look at nature poetry in the same way if I hadn’t seen so much of nature just by looking out my windows.

The right location really does add value; I’m just not sure it’s one an estate agent would recognise.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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This week has been a bit hit and miss, writing-wise.

The hit – writing group reconvened and it was a really positive one. I shared the start of the whodunnit and got great feedback on that, and I shared a very personal poem to excellent comments.  It was very personal about a very difficult experience, and I’m pleased I was finally able to show it to people because I am proud of it.

We also all set writing targets for the year; realistic but challenging, including how we can support each other.  The group is getting back into the swing of things after missing out a few sessions due to my wedding and then Christmas; our new venue and new approach is really livening things up and I hope we get a few more members to keep the engagement levels high.

The miss – well, not an entire miss, but I only added a few hundred words to the whodunnit, so although the feedback left me on a high, the progress didn’t. I am aiming to move on a lot further this week!

Still, I am progressing, and that’s always good…

In other news – this week, we’ve reached book 75 in the 100 novels list – Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.  I have not read this and am a bit embarrassed to say I never realised it was written in  English; I always thought it was translated.  I can’t say I have any great plan to read it and even the small excerpt from the beginning of the book quoted in the article is a little bleurgh for me, so if it ever goes on my reading list, it will be near then end!

And finally – we’re drawing up a new list of books for reading group this week and I am amazed how different all our tastes are – it’s excellent because it encourages all of us to read things we would choose to leave on the shelf under normal circumstances.  Sadly I will probably have to read something else depressing and hard-going as a result but hey, at least I get food and giggles with my friends as a result!

That’s it from me for today – short and to the point, because I have to get everything ready for work tomorrow.  I am very lucky to have a part-time job so I can carry on with writing and reading, but it does mean I have to be a little more organised than nature made me!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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This week I continued with the whodunnit, caught up on some of the coursework I should have done, and got back into the swing of writing group.

I’ve pressed on with the whodunnit despite still feeling a little conflicted about the detective.  I have gone for a police detective for realism but the more I think about it the more I think the likes of Marple or Holmes work precisely because they are not official – they are not constrained by the rules of the law and can do things that wouldn’t make good policy!  I also feel that it’s made the story become a bit sludgy as I try to get the jargon and legal process right.

In a last-ditch attempt to get a balance between professional detective and civilian sleuth, I have had a Miss Marple marathon running over the weekend in the background.  This week my writing time will be very limited as I have things on every evening after work – predominantly rehearsals, sadly! – but I will revisit the story and see which direction I want to go.  I am trying not to get too bogged down in the minutiae, bearing in mind my reason for trying this was purely to practise the written art of misdirection, and think if I continue down my current path I’ll lose focus again which I don’t want to do!

In the meantime, I have started work on a new poem for performances, called ‘The Ties That Bind’.  I like it and I feel it has legs so will be working on that in the next few weeks as well.

Alongside the writing, I am getting back into my studies, on a fairly basic level – I am doing the bare minimum work and no interactive elements such as forums, because I don’t have time, but I wanted to get back to learning which I find so inspirational.  I still have ideas to explore about history and society that may become poems rather than novels or short stories just because I want to get them onto paper!

And finally, this week also saw the return of writing group.  We have a new venue which is a local pub, and I’m not sure it’ll be entirely successful but we’ll give it a while to try it out.  As we arrived it was snowing, and a great big log fire was a very welcome sight!  I am pushing us all to have writing targets this year, and we are going to run a children’s writing competition locally, so I hope everyone’s a little more invested now.  We even have newbies joining us, which is great fun!

I’ll leave it there as it’s nearly midnight and I have to get up for work!  Decisions on detectives will be made soon…

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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