Whether we’re luxuriating in our own office or cramped in a tiny space under the stairs, we writers are happy as long as we’re able to release all those pent-up creative juices!
However, as much as we love our little cocoon, writing can be a pretty solitary existence – apart from all those imaginary voices in our heads (or is that just me?).
And so the hunt was on to find like-minded folk who could spare a couple of hours each month to share any pearls of wisdom that they have gleaned on their literary journey. The main aim was to attract friendly local writers who would be generous in spirit as well as with their time, who would also be prepared to offer support, constructive critique and encouragement to the other members.
I must admit to being a little nervous before the meeting. The ladies (and gentleman) who would be attending were relative strangers to one another - drawn together by their love of books and writing.
But I'm pleased to say that I needn't have worried. Our first meeting exceeded my expectations with everyone quickly establishing a friendly ease with each other, enabling an instant flow of ideas, feedback and support.
Reading aloud our own words, laying bare our soul for critique, can be a daunting experience so it is essential that we feel confident to express ourselves. Not only do I think, as a group, we instilled that confidence but I think the strength of feeling went even stronger. I felt there was an instant camaraderie within the group, a positive energy that was championing the member's personal expression (and genuine anger directed at the thoughtless online critic that had caused our girl to feel doubt about her brilliant work). Honest, constructive criticism is essential from our members. As Debbie calls it, "Pollyanna" feedback where you're told your work is nice or good from well-meaning family and friends is not very helpful but being cruel for the sake of cruelty is uncalled for. The Ragleth Writers will not tolerate meanness.
And so we start our journey...I can't wait for the next chapter.