We began the meeting by introducing ourselves. We haven’t done this for a long time, and it was a good exercise for all of us. We shared where we were from, our writing history and current projects.
It turns out we are a diverse group of writers: traditionally published, untraditionally published, unpublished, fiction writers, nonfiction writers and poets. We are all in different stages of our writing lives.
We discussed writing in general, some of the expectations for a writers group and what we’d like to see take place during meetings. One suggestion was for meetings to begin with each member providing a report on the progress of their current work in progress. This is intended to keep us on task and accountable.
For the September meeting, please prepare a statement about your current writing project. You can include the title of your project, what it involves, what stage you are at and where the project is headed.
Diane suggested the possibility of two meetings per month: one specifically to discuss the craft of writing and one to discuss self-publishing and marketing. This would give each meeting a specific focus. It would also allow those not interested in self-publishing the option of not attending.
The focus on learning the craft of writing is hoped to help inspire members to write. By learning techniques, appreciating the written word and sharing writing pieces, it is hoped to stimulate the imagination and encourage members to continue writing.
Inspiration to write often doesn’t come from discussing the task of publishing. The mechanics of publishing and the task of selling books (aka marketing) can be drudgery and uninspiring.
Perhaps the division of topics into two meetings will be done on a trial basis in the fall, and if proved successful, continued.
Diane missed the May meeting, so shared her suggestions on John’s writing piece with him. Donna offered to provide a writing sample for the group to discuss at the September meeting. She will send it to the group through email by early September.
The library informed us it now closes at 8:00 pm instead of 8:30 pm, which shortened our meeting by thirty minutes. In the future, we’ve decided to begin at 6:00 pm instead of 6:30 pm to give us two full hours for discussions. This will come into effect in September 2015.
Summer Assignment: During the summer break, please think of one thing we can do to improve our writers’ group. Bring the suggestion to the September meeting to share with the rest of us.