Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Filling a need: writers groups

Writing is a lonely business. And it can be scary. It requires confronting a blank screen or sheet of paper in hopes of filling it up with little black marks that will have some value and contribute to a whole that floats elusively around in your head insisting on coming to life.

Sometimes it seems like a disease or an addiction or a time-consuming hobby that makes you sit still and think—and thinking is hard work. Well, so is sitting still.

That’s why people who write tend to gather together to form little groups to help each other. Over time these groups become a place to find friends, confidantes, mentors and sources of encouragement.

The writing/critique group that I belong to has been meeting every other Friday morning for well over a decade. There’s food and drink and chit chat before we get down to business, sharing our work with each other and offering suggestions from little nitpicks to bigger issues such as plot, dialogue and creation of scenes.

I feel fortunate to be part of this group that helped me to turn a non-fiction account into something resembling a novel. It wasn’t easy, for them or for me, a journalist at heart.

Our group has formed Penstemon Publications to bring our writings to life. We are celebrating with an “authors potpourri” event at a unique and charming bookstore in Loveland, Colorado in a couple of weeks.

It’s going to be great fun to be together to share our work with visitors in a readerly location. Is readerly a word?  I’ll have to ask my writers group.

My new book, Still Running, will be available as well. I'm excited to share it!

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