I love my writers’ group. But it’s a wee bit different from others.
We don’t read each other’s works. We don’t critique. We don’t network.
We just encourage. As in, to inspire with courage, spirit or hope. To spur on.
There are just four us: A woman working on her first novel, an academic working on a non-fiction work, a screenwriter-turning-teacher, and me. We are two Americans, two South Africans. Our children are different ages. We are all north Londoners.
We get together once a month and laugh together at our foibles. We take in interest in each other’s work, not as critics but as nurturers. We go around the table and talk about what we’ve been working on, our obstacles and hopes. Over cups of tea and nibbling on nuts or biscuits or fruit, we wander off on tangents about life and love, and being mothers, our children.
We finish by doing an exercise from the Observation Deck.
Exercises can range from writing 10 first sentences to thinking about our characters’ visions of success to deciding on the architecture of our novel or book (claustrophobic, wide open spaces, community space?)
We leave energized, relaxed and well, encouraged.
We still have to face the page the next day but we feel less alone.
photo by MollaSpace (flickr)