16 April 2013

The Value of Writerly Companionship

Image courtesy of tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
For many years, I have been afraid of letting my writing life cross over into my real life. I wouldn’t freely divulge my writing hobby among casual friends and acquaintances… though people accidentally finding my blog when it was under my real name sort of gave the game away. While I had overseas-based online writing buddies, I didn’t think joining a local real-life writers’ group would offer me much more than one conference a year and maybe some writing tips. Or perhaps I was just too much of a scaredy-cat to get over my shyness and put myself out there.

How wrong I was. Through Twitter, the great networker of our time, at first I followed like-minded writers in the US and UK, gradually finding Aussie authors. I’d been following a couple of Kiwi authors for a while, but eventually I came into the sphere of some active RWNZ members. One of them was so kind as to chat with me about my writing and invite me to the local chapter meeting. She was so lovely I just couldn’t say no.

At the meeting I met a variety of wonderful people who welcomed me in and were eager to find out about my writing journey. Shortly thereafter I joined RWNZ officially and have since enjoyed all the subsequent meetings, the newsletter and recently, the email loop. Unfortunately I won’t be able to go to this year’s conference due to a prior commitment (although that commitment is going to be pretty awesome).

I’ve already learnt so much. Not just about the craft and different approaches to writing, but about the various avenues to get your work out there. It’s amazing really: writers come in so many different personalities and tastes, but at the heart of it we all love to do the same thing: create characters, worlds and emotion.

These people are my people, and they get/understand so many parts of me like no-one else in my life can. I feel validated in all my quirks, methods and neuroses. I feel encouraged. I feel less crazy. And even though it’s early days, I feel a bond with this group. It’s still daunting rocking up to a large group of (mostly) ladies I barely know, but it gets easier each time, and when the writing discussion starts, I lap it up.

So if you’ve been thinking about joining a writer’s group, any group, I say go for it. If I scaredy-cat like me can enjoy it, you can too.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more! Writers are so friendly and supportive.