On the benefits of membership in a local writers group

Writing is a solo sport. “Sport?” I hear you laugh. Yes, I argue. It requires discipline. Improvement of skills. Goal setting and achievement reaching. And, let’s face it, the noun ‘sport’ is just so much stronger than the noun ‘activity’. And it’s my blog, so I get to say what nouns get used. And today, I want to use the noun ‘sport’. So there.

But that’s not the point. The point is, that it’s a SOLO sport. One done by individuals, not teams. And as such, this sport that writers practice, is – by its very nature – a lonely one. And that’s okay. We understand that.

But it’s not good to be alone. To grow, to develop, to improve, we need community. Others. To help us, to hone our skills, to give us instantaneous feedback, constructive criticism, to inspire and encourage and tell us straight when we’ve completely screwed something up and need to give up and start over.

And that’s where a local writers group comes in. For me, at least.

There are a dozen regular members in the group I’m a member of. Writers of fantasy, of bush ballads and other poetry, of romance. writers of biographies and autobiographies. Writers of history. Radio script writers. And me.

This morning, our challenge was to rewrite a short event (read ‘news clip’) into a much longer, more sensational piece (read ‘feature article’). This was fun. The 34 year old Berlin-born burglar of guitars, amps and other music equipment from a Philadelphian storage locker back in March, became a far more sinister figure in my retelling of the news event. He morphed into a Nazi-background, revenge-seeking criminal mastermind, intent on world domination through his dealings in Weapons of Mass Destruction. And that was just mine! Others’ entries ranged from watermelon-wielding elephants to boganvillea intent on injuring their owners. What lively discussions ensued!

And that’s my point. Writing is lonely. And I find it essential, if I’m aiming to improve in this sport that I’ve chosen, to un-loneli-fy myself. To be a part of a vibrant writing community which so inspires me every fortnight.

I love it. Am I the only one, I wonder?

Anyway, have a great day, dear reader! 🙂

— KRidwyn