I wrote yesterday that a writing friend and I have challenged ourselves to write seventy-three blogs form a list of titles. Dissatisfied with the suggestions after the first twenty-five, we have created our own list which we are conscientiously sticking to. I wrote the first part of the challenge to blog about reading groups and writing groups I belong to; here is part (ii):
Moving on to writing groups, one of the groups evolved from my Waterstones book club! A few of us found we were writers and it seemed a natural progression to get together with others friends – including people from my other book group. This writing group has people of every age and background – and I must say they are all brilliant writers, really amazing, so clever, witty and perceptive. Their writing is very varied, poets, quirky writers, funny writers, creepy writers, thoughtful writers, engaging writers, exciting writers… It’s always such fun to meet, and our writing challenges are often just that – challenging! We have produced one anthology of our writing and another is waiting in the wings.
From that group has evolved a much smaller clan, and we go away together on our writing retreats. So far we have been on three which I have written about here; Lyme Regis (and we are due to go there again in October, fingers crossed) Hay-on-Wye, and St Endellion in Cornwall. We meet regularly and Zoom, and just for fun we are writing two serial stories, taking it in turns to write a chapter each. Which reminds me, I think it’s my turn! We each are writing our own things, and sometimes share, asking for comments and criticisms, but in a different way from the main bit writing group.
I belong to another writing group which is part of the U3A; the U3A is an organisation for older people – people of the third age, and members with expertise in a particular area – craftwork, art, walking, geology, history, Scrabble – you name it there’s a person who knows about it – and they organise and lead a group of interested members. The U3A writing group is obviously of a certain age, and I think I maybe the youngest. Each month a topic is set which we write to, just as in my other group. The people here are all just as lovely and friendly, but many if not most of them have come to writing later in life – it’s not something they have always done. This gives a different feel to their writing – just as enjoyable to read, just as interesting, but different.
Again a small sub-group has formed and we have a blog. Any of the friends is welcome to join us, but so far all have declined. However we have been joined by a writing friend we have never met! A most gifted writer from the north of England started reading our blog and commenting and when we invited her to join us, we were extremely thrilled she said yes! She is an excellent writer, such original points of view and her poetry and her stories are all most enjoyable, and thought-provoking. We have produced two anthologies and are beginning to think about #3!
As well as being part of these groups of fellow writers, up until March of this year, I led two other writing groups, one an all-purpose group and one a group of people wanting to write their family’s history – and their own sometimes. This was not a genealogical research group, no this was a way of using different techniques to tell true stories from the past, sometimes quite creatively and with imagination. All the members of these two groups (U3A again) are lovely people, and I’m sad I haven’t seen them for such a long time. I hope soon things will change and we can meet face to face – maybe in a different venue, once again, to share our stories and writing.
My featured image is of Lyme Regis when I was there with my writing chums.