â€˜Make an effort to seek out people who love writing and make friends with them. It helps to confirm your writing life.â€™ Natalie Goldberg
I keep hearing from emerging writers how important their writers groups have been to them but I have had trouble finding one of my own. I had a semi formal group at university that fell apart when a large section of the group graduated. I didnâ€™t have writing colleagues in London so I hadnâ€™t been a part of a group for years. There are so many writing groups to choose from in Perth but I was specific about what I wanted to gain from the group;
- people working on a full length piece with the intention of publishing it
- members with a writing background rather than writers just starting out
- writers I could relate to, whom I felt would give me honest feedback, but whom I also liked as people.
These may sound a bit unfair, especially the one about writers who are just getting started as many would argue, myself included, that everyone needs support in their writing and those just starting out probably have the most trouble finding avenues to get their work heard. However, in this case I decided to be selfish, especially after attending a few groups with a large beginner contingent.
I started my search looking at WritingWA as they list a large number of groups throughout Perth as well as the Writers Centres. I did try out one of the groups from their list. The participants were friendly and experienced, however the group was also long term established and I wasnâ€™t sure I was going to break my way into their clique. I probably wouldâ€™ve persevered but for their daytime meeting resulting in a requirement for babysitting every time I wanted to attend.