Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Back of Beyond

I don't really live in the back of beyond; it's a small town on the edge of the Peak District with distracting views (if you don't look too closely at Sainsburys in the valley). It has some quirky, individual shops that are tempting when you're trying to keep hold of your cash, and a dilapidated library that rumour has it will be improved at some point. But is there a writing group here? No. Within a five mile radius...? Err, no.

In my grand quest to improve my writing, the thing I really need is some feedback; proper, unbiased feedback, preferably from people who know a little bit about writing. I am going to pay for a critique of one of my novels (one day - perhaps when the library is renovated), or perhaps even embark on a writing course, if I find time between washing uniforms and cooking uninspiring meals. (The uninspiring meals are often what causes the need to wash the uniforms.)

So joining a writing group seems like the obvious thing to do next to improve my writing. There's no way I can commit to the nearest group, however, which meets weekly in a market town twenty minutes' drive away. As I pondered this problem, (ignoring the little voice that suggested I set up my own writing group and let the children wander around in sweaters stained with spaghetti bolognese), I realised that the internet could be the answer. There must be online groups, surely?

And I was right. There are groups. And more groups. And more....and now I'm paralysed by indecisiveness. How am I meant to choose? And, since using one is not as defined as 'Monday night at 8', what if I end up spending so much time playing around in an online writing group that I use up all the time I'd tagged for writing in...? Or am I just afraid of stretching myself?

Would love to hear other people's experiences and recommendations!


  1. Hello Abigail, there is a writers group in Wirksworth on a Wednesday night, also a poetry group that meet on a Monday night and I know that they are always open to new members. I believe quite a lot of the group dip in and out and don't attend every week.

    Good luck with your December competition entry!

  2. Thanks Barbara! I just looked this up on the Derbyshire Writers' Newsletter - can't believe I didn't see it before. I might be able to make it sometimes in holiday time. That meant I also saw one further away that is during school hours, that might also suit me. Yay!