One of the things I really want to do now that I’m being all creative and stuff is join a writer’s group. There are a couple of things standing in my way.
- it’s a bad time of year – a lot of the groups I have found online don’t appear to meet over summer, or at least over the festive period**;
- many of the groups appear to be targeted to the semi-retired set and I don’t think this is what I need (mostly from a social viewpoint, I really want to meet some new friends);
- I want a group that will have (at least in part) a focus on poetry; most of the groups appear to be more general;
- the poetry groups out there appear to be more spoken word focussed, which would appear to have less emphasis on critique of the writing style.
I guess this post is a bit of shout out to those of you in the blogosphere who are writers; what is a good group to join for a (largely) under 40 crowd, to get a good variety of writing styles, to get a good constructive critique of your work, and that has good regular meetings?
Secondly, if I were to find a good Melbourne based writer’s group would there be anyone out there who would want to come with me? A group buddy who would motivate me when I was all ‘I can’t be bothered coming up with anything for the next meeting’, who would look over my stuff before I showed it to the group and gave me their thoughts, someone for whom I would do the same.
Lastly, if there is no consensus regarding a group that would be in line with what I want, would there be anyone who would want to join/founder a group like that with me?
Obviously creating a writer’s group would be challenging for me to say the least but if it meant that I actually had access to the sorts of stuff I really want and there were others out there who were also getting good things from the group I would be up for the challenge.
Ok internet – show me what you got!
** although I did just find a poetry event in Carlton on 24th Dec which I am TOTALLY going to.
Writers’ groups are notoriously difficult to organise, due to writers generally being antisocial and flaky. I used to do Write Club in Sydney but I got sick of people not turning up, so now it’s just me and my friend Ian meeting up every now and then to talk writing and get drunk. It works actually – if you have just one other person sharing the journey with you (whose opinion you trust and respect) it’s basically all you need. Of course if you ever need critical feedback (or just someone to read your work) there’s always email!
My other piece of advice is it could be worthwhile looking into doing a creative writing course, because that’s the best way to meet other writers your own age, and to lock yourself in to meeting (and writing) regularly. I never failed to be inspired and amazed by my classmates at uni – some of the stuff I read there will stay in my brain forever.
My new year’s resolution is to get up a little earlier every day to write – hopefully we will be able to inspire each other. 🙂
Dave Power said:
Quite often the group dynamic is not what a writer requires or desires. Quite often the group dynamic brings out the best in a writer. I guess, in short, Writers Groups can be either good or negative for individual writers, depending on their own needs. The debate/ discussion about the merits or otherwise of writers groups will rage for as long as we want to write!
That’s the problem with writers/arty types… I bought the Artist’s way and I’m planning to start that in the new year so hopefully I’ll be producing a bit more soon… and I am looking at some courses in photography and creative writing – if nothing else to see how other people do it so I can be all ‘oh GOD no’ 🙂