Friends and Writers – Another Year

Around this time last year I wrote about my group of writerly friends here.  One year on, we still meet every few weeks, and – up until now at least – still in the same creaky, low-ceilinged hotel bar which is the closest to a geographical centre-point between our homes.  Although this seems set to change; the barman is grumpy, the food is variable (although the name above the door suggests it should be excellent) and the gaggles of wedding guests a little too rowdy for us.  We’ve become reluctant to continue dropping £100 or so into their coffers each time we get together.

So it’s one year on, and over two years since the start of our little group, which came about, if you’re interested, as a result of us having endured the waste of a day at a thoroughly uninspiring short writing course.   Little of the framework of our gatherings has changed in this time.  We still discuss our work, especially our challenges, both literary and logistical.  We still share things we’ve learned and sources we’ve found useful.  We still occasionally read to one another and every now and again we try a writing exercise.  We drink lots of coffee (and water…) and we share a meal.  And we still natter on for hours about all kinds of everything.

Our writing has progressed by varying degrees over that time – work, family and other claims on our time and energy are the inevitable excuse.  Our friendship too has grown.

It’s an incredible thing, to make new friends.  People mostly have busy, diverse lives; we’re mostly reticent when it comes to engaging with strangers.  So it’s not easy to connect and open the door to a friendship even when there’s a shared interest or passion at the heart of things.  I think it’s great to have people with whom to share my novice writing experience and my clunky output.  But it’s even more special that I’m able to do this on a foundation of friendship.  Ladies, you know who you are – thank you!

7 thoughts on “Friends and Writers – Another Year

  1. For something that is essentially a solitary pursuit, I never thought writing would be so social. But not only has it brought me wonderful friendships, I’ve discovered that even the unfinished article is sweeter when shared. Few greater pleasures than discussing our latest scribbles!

  2. I absolutely echo your sentiments. I doubt very much that I would have a first draft under my belt and a semi-edited second draft underway, were it not for the enouragement I’ve had from you, and the pleasure of sharing it all.

  3. And I am certain that I would not be wading through my seventh draft without the feedback, support and encouragement that I have been lucky enough to receive from our little group. It is wonderful to have forged such friendships and to be able to share our passion for writing. The level of trust and honesty needed to take the risk of sharing our embryonic works and giving and receiving feedback is special indeed.

    1. Keep drafting and re-drafting until you can’t see another line you can improve. I’m starting out on editing, conscious of how much more there is to this part of the process, than to getting the first-pass story together. It’s great to share with you, and we’re all working on such very different projects. An experience I’d recommend to all budding writers.

  4. I do feel a writing group is a godsend. I belong to a group formed from a creative writing course with the Open University. We meet every couple of months and whilst we don’t read our work (we did share LOTS of stories during the course) we do encourage each other and provide inspiration. Good to hear you’ve still got a group together.

    1. Interesting. Many people believe writing to be a solitary pursuit, but that’s not my experience, nor yours, so it seems. Being part of a group, where the focus is on writing but the foundation is friendship, is both a privilege and a joy. I would urge any novice/would-be writers to find themselves a small group of like minded writing buddies.

      1. Absolutely. I think the actual writing is the solitary act, but the mechanisms around the writing, the support etc then the group is key. Helps spur me on at least 🙂

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