Make an Effort

‘Make an effort to seek out people who love writing and make friends with them. It helps to confirm your writing life.’ 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 didn’t have writing colleagues in London so I hadn’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 wasn’t sure I was going to break my way into their clique. I probably would’ve persevered but for their daytime meeting resulting in a requirement for babysitting every time I wanted to attend.

Life’s pretty straight without mentees…

I’m sitting in the library on what is supposed to be my writing day – the one day a week I get eight hours uninterrupted writing as opposed to snippets on the other days. Today though I am procrastinating. I am just a little bit excited that the announcements have come out for the Australian Society of Authors Emerging Writers Mentorships and I am one of the winners! All of a sudden I am being asked for headshots, press release details and literary bios – something that as an unpublished author I have never had to think about before.

For a while now I have been wondering what on earth I would have to write about in a blog and last night my clever husband suggested that the concept had just fallen in my lap – I could write about my experience as an emerging writer in the mentor program. So here I am, two coffees down, not a lot achieved on my novel, Linkedin page created and first blog post being bashed out.