I’ve been in a number of writers groups over the years. Some focused on writing and feedback, others on the business aspect of writing. Some dealt with a specific genre or required a certain level of expertise, others welcomed writers of all types and all levels of experience.
I just joined a new writers group, and I’m really excited about it. Many members of the group are published authors in a variety of genres, and everyone I’ve met so far has provided thoughtful and helpful comments and suggestions on each other’s writing, including mine. I’ve attended only two meetings so far, but I can already see that it’s going to give me both the feedback and the discipline I need to move forward with some writing projects that have fallen by the wayside since I first started them.
As if all that weren’t good enough, there’s food involved. Members bring snacks to the meeting, and after the day’s readings are finished, everyone sticks around to chat and munch for a bit. I took brownies the first week, since I wanted to make a good impression, and a chile-cheese dip to my second meeting. People asked me for both recipes, which I’ve always considered to be the ultimate compliment and measure of success.
“You can never go wrong with chocolate or cheese,” one of the members told me. I think that’s a sign I’ve been accepted by the group. For my snacks, if not for my writing – although I think they approved of that, too. And since I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking – and have envelopes bursting at the seams with recipes I’ve cut out of newspapers and magazines – this will give me an opportunity, as well as a good excuse, to try some of them without having to wait for a party or holiday.
The writing I’m bringing to the group, by the way, is a book that grew out of the journal I kept during and immediately after my first trip to Uganda. It’s gone through several revisions already, and has gotten tucked away numerous times when I got busy with other things. That first trip was in 2011, and I’ve been back to Uganda five more times since then. So it’s definitely time to get back to the book and try to get it updated and finished.
I’ll report back to you from time to time on how everything’s going – the book, the group, and the snacks. I’m pretty confident, though. It’s a combination that sounds to me like a recipe for success.
February 15, 2019
©Betty Liedtke, 2019
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