Where I write

Where I write

June 6, 2012

It Takes a Village to be a Writer

This is my Writing Inspiration Group (WIG)which meets each Tuesday a 3 p.m. at the Barnes and Noble books store. We've been meeting for more than six years. The group has been as small as two people and as big as twenty, give or take a few.  Our group grows in the winter and shrinks during Phoenix's hot summer. (the two gals on the right, you can see their hands, said they don't like their photo taken. Writers can be shy, something I've never been accused of.)

WIG is mostly women writers, but we do have our token male, Harold. (He's on the right. We tell him he is lucky to sit with all of us gorgeous gals each week.)  Other male writers now and then stop by to spend an hour with us writing. We don't discriminate. But, its mostly women, and we don't just write. We eat chocolate. There are no admission fees to join the group and no dues to belong. All you need is pen and paper and your imagination.

The group has been a valuable source of inspiration and support to me. They have been my cheer lead squad, applauding even my smallest writing victory. I hope I've done the same for them. We have some amazing writers in our group. But not every writer who comes to the group desires to be published. Some people just appreciate an hour carved out of their busy day to write. We have teachers and retired nurses and moms and people from all sorts of backgrounds. The one thing we have in common is a desire to write, to refuel our writing tank so our muses can thrive.

I've been in several formal writing critique groups. First, there was no chocolate. Second, they can be competitive and, at times, very critical. While you can grow a tough skin by being told your writing basically sucks, it really isn't all that fun. At WIG we laugh a lot.

It works like this....after we are given a prompt, we write for five to ten minutes, and then read what we have written. We don't critique or judge or make comments. We just listen. People  write short essays or stories or poems. A prompt might include an old photo, or a clipping from a newspaper, or something as simple as write whatever comes to your mind after the sentence "I remember."

Rita (on the left) and Cindi (on the right) are the gals who started WIG.  They took a writing class together and, when class ended, wanted to stay motivated to keep writing. They are both published authors in their own right. Through the years, they have kept WIG going. We've had goodbye parties to writers who move away, book exchanges on holidays, and get well cards when someone is ill. Still, the focus remains on writing. We are social, but this isn't only a social group. (Writers are the chattiest group of people you will ever meet.)  Rita and Cindi keep us focused. Never believe you can't make difference. Rita and Cindi have made a powerful difference, and continue to do so, in writer's lives. Thank you!
 The good thing about writing is that it is solitary experience. The bad thing about writing is that it is a solitary experience. How much time can a person spend alone hearing voices in their head? It's great to turn off the computer, and sit with other people who have voices in their head, too.  Having a group like WIG helps keep balance in my life.

This is a photo from a writer's group taken a long time ago. Even back then writers needed to hang out with other writers. We don't get this dressed up,  but times really haven't changed that much. We still need that human connection to create our art. No woman, or man, is an island.


C.B. Wentworth said...

I love our group! :-) Its one of those things I look forward to every week.

Keep writing those wonderful stories!

Karen C. said...

xoxo to all!

SunsetCindi said...

What a great story about our group. Who would have thought that it would still be going on each week, for all these years. You are such a sparkling addition and keep us laughing and romanticized with your dramatic stories. Here's to many more years of our writing paradise.