For nearly a year now I've been part of a writers' group with three other women: Pam, Lori, and Ann. We meet every second Monday evening for two hours to share our work and give one another feedback. It has been a great experience for many reasons: seeing what others are writing inspires us, getting advice on our own work helps us know how to develop and edit it, and having regular meetings motivates us to keep plugging away at whatever we're writing so as to have something ready to share. And beyond the discussion of each other's writing, we are also able to share our lives in a more personal way, encouraging each other through events like a 65th birthday, cancer treatment, return to school, or new job.
This past month, three of us were able to get appointments with author Helen Humphreys, who is currently writer-in-residence at Queen's, to get feedback on our writing. Her comments were extremely encouraging; she even urged each of us to pursue getting our work published. After meeting three of the four of us she stated emphatically that we had a great writing group. Well, we knew that already!
Last night we met and discussed the euphoric feeling of having a successful, well-known author compliment our work that way. We have come a long way in one year. We are also adding a fifth member, Kate, to our group, so we are growing too. And personally I would never have believed one year ago that I would now have four stories written and another nearing completion. So it has really been a wonderful experience.