Erin Green Author - blog
Way back in 2004 when I was a secret scribbler, I belonged to a writers' circle that met in the back room of a local Conservative club. It was a huge group of enthusiastic writers who had far more experience and writerly knowledge than I had, so I'd nervously trundle along each month clutching my latest piece ready to receive feedback. The group was so large that on many occasions I didn't get the chance to read aloud my tiny offering, but the evening was never wasted listening to the others, be it poets, aspiring authors or potential playwrights. It would provide a gem of creativity for me which I stole away and made good use of until the next gathering took place. Simply listening to the others 'fed me' something which I couldn't access from elsewhere in my life.
I attended for approximately eighteen months before my attendance wavered and ceased. I think I lost sight of what I gained from attending the group. I was caught up in the onslaught of receiving rejection after rejection from publishers, disappointment at not receiving group feedback for my offerings and probably in the mire wondering if I was chasing a non-sensical dream!
Roll forward to February 2022, with our covid hibernation over, I needed to return to social interaction. So, I returned to the fold after an absence of nearly two decades! There was a new venue, a reduced group of six, but three members who remembered me from all those years ago. Imagine how surprised I was! I hadn't taken anything to read, so took my seat and simply listened as they each read their offerings. In a flash, I knew what I'd been missing in recent years - the grass roots of creativity. The group didn't pry or make a fuss, as any new member is a bonus, but the organiser did ask, 'So you're still writing then?'
Last night was my fourth session. I chose not to read aloud from my current project, but enjoyed listening to ten other members reading an array of stories and poems. I did enter two anonymous entries for the groups' annual competitions, the short story and non-fiction categories, so I'll let you know how I get on when the results are received by the external judges.