Carolyn Steele Agosta
Take a group of people who think they’re good with words, throw them together in a room, and watch out!
Writers’ groups – without exception – tend to be a talky bunch. We love words! We love expressing ideas! Sometimes it can get a bit volatile, but most of the groups with which I’ve been involved have been great fun.
Writing can be a lonely profession – you work alone (except for your characters) and for most of us, we toil in obscurity. A writers’ group can make all the difference. The group can provide encouragement, feedback, inspiration and accountability. Writing is like any other endeavor in that it needs to be practiced regularly. And having a group to keep you going is really helpful.
I’ve been in a variety of groups – face to face groups, classes, online groups of all varieties. When I stopped being in a group (it had become too political for me), I gradually also stopped writing. When I began writing again, I knew I needed to find a group.
Fortunately, I found a GREAT group at the library in Lincolnton, NC, nearby. It’s about 15 miles away, so enough of an effort to get there that I don’t take it for granted. The facilitator is Kelly Kinard, who works at the library and is great fun. Our group usually runs to around 7-8 people and we meet twice a month. We have published writers and newbies and everything in between, and the tone is positive and supportive.
Every time we meet, Kelly has a writing aspect to discuss, and we usually do a ‘free write’ or ‘flash fiction’ – which is similar to impromptu for acting or a riff in music – it’s done with a prompt to provide inspiration and written immediately, off the cuff, without time to think it through first. Often, this produces something only moderately successful, but that’s fine. It can always be improved upon later and the whole idea is to get those creative juices flowing. Some of the stories I will be posting here have come from those flash fiction or free write efforts. These free writes have induced me to creating stories outside of my usual genre, and are great fun to do.
So, I’m going to post my most recent free write. It’s a bit dark for me, but hey, that was the prompt’s fault!