I’m seeing someone. Well, more like ten people actually. I have been for a while now. It’s been three years. We get together every couple of months. My husband knows … and he fully approves.
Were you thinking indecent thoughts? Shame on you! It’s just my Writers’ Group. And I think it’s time you knew all about them. 🙂
The Prana Writers has a bit of a history for a rather young group. Back in 2009, the Gold Coast City Council selected sixteen emerging writers to participate in a workshop series mentored by award-winning Fantasy author, Louise Cusack, based on assessment of demonstrated literary merit.
We had an amazing year. We learned so much about our writing and ourselves. Our craft strengthened and so did our ability to block our inner critics. We laughed a lot, sometimes we cried, and along the way came to realise that we were more than writers getting together every few months. We liked each other too.
In 2010 year we were accepted for a Regional Arts Development Fund to continue Louise’s mentorship for a series of editing workshops. We had a few less in the group by then, but the dynamic was unchanged.
The Prana Writers have come into our own this year as a solid group of eleven. We still meet every few months, and I am so honoured to be part of this special group of talented people. Perhaps the planets were aligned in just the right way when we all got together three years ago, but it is rare to find a group of people with such different personalities and interests that get along so well.
We are a mixed bunch indeed, with a genre-blend of speculative, crime, romance, drama, literary, children’s fantasy, and young adult fiction.
If you are going it alone in the writing world and feel like you need to be surrounded by like minded people, I would strongly recommend tracking down a Writers’ Group that is right for you in your area.
What will you get out of it? Well, here’s what Prana Writers gives me:
- Motivation – when I have been using one of my many procrastination tools, I have my fellow writers to give me a good kick up the backside.
- Confidence – sometimes it’s hard to believe in yourself when your inner critic is making you doubt your plot, characters, themes. Sometimes you need to hear from people whose opinions you trust that you “write good”.
- Critiquing – Imagine having ten talented writers critique your work for free. Pretty handy, huh?
- Inspiration – the creative energy when we get together is electrifying. Additionally, there is nothing to keep you striving for your own goals when you hear about everybody’s successes and milestones.
- Ongoing Professional Development – We are our very own talent pool. Each of us gives workshops on our areas of expertise. For example, so far this year we have had presentations on screen writing, building an online presence, and novel structure. Coming up we have e-book publishing, making our own book trailer, and in October I, with fellow Prana Writer, Helen Stubbs, will be running a short story workshop.
- Guest Speakers – We have had Rowena Cory Daniells, Sheryl Gwyther, Sarah Armstrong. At our next meeting we have Katherine Howell. Pretty cool, huh?!
- Support – This is priceless. We are all so genuinely supportive of each other and have a desire to see each other succeed and reach our individual goals. Life happens. Shit happens, too. When one of us is going through bad times, we all know the devastating effect this can have on ones writing and headspace.
- Friendship – We laugh a lot. We eat muffins. We catch up randomly. Sometimes we go to the pub. ‘Nuff said
I firmly believe the support, critique, feedback, energy and strength I get from my friends, even if it’s only a few times a year, contributes greatly to keeping my dream alive and my goals on track.
So, without sounding too sappy – this one goes out to you, Prana Writers. You’re the “Write Group” for me.
Happy writing, happy reading and happy days 🙂