I don’t know what motivated me to suggest a local writer’s group in Ampthill. The reasons I gave last night were networking, support, encouragement and promotion. Not to mention the greater good of thinking of ways to promote our local bookshop and maybe set our sights on a Literacy Festival some time in the future.
Writing can be a lonely occupation. I only have the privilege of two days at home to write per week and I revel in my isolation, greedy to use every moment fruitfully. At lunchtime I sometimes link up with people on #amwriting on twitter; Great for tweeting and receiving tweets full of empathy, sharing in other people’s successes and frustrations.
I was at a local book signing recently at my favourite little bookshop in Ampthill, Horatio’s and got talking to the visiting author. We chatted for nearly an hour and the idea just popped into my head. What a good idea it would be to get together to share experiences and give real support. He agreed. The virtual world is fine but nothing can beat the real thing!
So, yesterday evening I waited nervously at the bar, peering at people surreptitiously, wondering if they looked like writers and feeling a tad self conscious. One writer hoping to attend had flippantly suggested wearing a flower but in the end we didn’t need them. Soon six of us had gathered, a good turn out for a first meeting.
We had no name,(I’ve called it The Albion Writers’, which sounds suspiciosly like Morris Dancers, because we met in The Albion pub, an excellent place with a back room which the greatest writers of the past would have approved of!) no agenda, just a time to share a bit about ourselves and where we are all at now. Conversation flowed. Each of us had such diverse backgrounds in the ‘writing’ field from and ex editor and published author of non fiction, a successful freelance writer, a man who once worked in publishing and had great knowledge of formatting and design, a writer with a book accepted by a Literary Agent and being looked at by a publisher as we speak, a lady who writes at least two blogs, one of which has up to 300 readers, and myself, a writer of historical romantic fiction (not M & B) with one book published and another completed.
One thought that has occurred to me since yesterday ‘What do other writer’s groups get up to in their meetings?’
We’ve agreed to meet next month and so we’ll see, but I certainly came home buzzing with positivity.