Establishing that we love to write, indeed, that we need to write is often the easy part. The harder part - mastering the craft and becoming better writers.
It was apparent at today's Circle that one of the most useful and valuable tools in developing our own writing expertise is critiquing the work of others.
Listening and then offering comments on the flaws, as well as the beautiful descriptions, metaphors and messages, translates well when we sit down to write. Feedback is a two-way street.
So it was at the Circle. We talked about writing techniques, how to show not tell, adding the smell of the coffee, the sound of the horses' hooves, inserting ourselves more into the work, clarifying that if we let our fears and inner critic hold sway, we become paralyzed.
We understand, too, that while writing is a craft, its power often leads us. As one woman said, "I didn't chose to write. It is therapy for me." Yet another observed: "I want to use humor in my writing, but the crap keeps getting in the way." And this, "The poem just came to me. I wrote it in 30 minutes."
It seemed we set our intentions to be the best writers we can, maybe more than we have at any other read-around since I started the Women's Writing Circle in November 2009. Understanding there is goodwill, support and intelligent, non-judgmental critique coming our way, we can move egos aside and absorb constructive criticism.
Hearing your virtues as a writer - as a wordsmith - voiced by others is panacea for anyone suffering writer's block.
This was the largest read-around yet with 10 writers attending the Circle. With spring comes rebirth and renewed energy. The result: a diversity of genres, projects and voices lending to a lively discussion of writing techniques.
It was also difficult to finish within the two and a half hours we allot to the Circle. I have considered holding the Circle twice a month, either at the same venue or a different location, probably in Phoenixville. Stay tuned! For sure, our next read-around is April 16 at Wellington Square Bookshop. We will meet the third Saturday, instead of our usual second Saturday due to the Women's Writing Circle retreat weekend April 8 - 10 at Pendle Hill in Wallingford.
Thank you to my Sisters in the Writing Circle. Keep writing . . . keep writing . . . keep writing.Susan