Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Speaking at the Monadnock Writers Group

This weekend Rich and I were guest speakers at the Monadnock Writers Group, a cast of nearly three dozen burgeoning writers who get together once a month at the Peterborough Library in southern New Hampshire. They exchange ideas, sometimes listen to guest speakers and give encouragement. What I liked most about the experience, was that regardless of whether or not they have guest speakers, one member of the group gets the opportunity to read an excerpt from their work at the beginning of the gathering.
It can be pretty daunting stepping behind a podium and reading your work to a group, whether you know them or not, but it's essential. Not only does it force your psyche to accept that you are, indeed, a writer, but it's also important to get feedback from others, as well as their support.
We're all vulnerable and perhaps even more so when we're pouring out our souls on paper, then giving the books to someone and hoping for a connection.
A Writers Group can provide us with an instant sense of belonging, a warm blanket over our shoulders as we struggle or triumph in our work.
I enjoyed reading Little Joe aloud and having a few librarians in the audience who were also raised on farms, comment that my work resonated with them and felt authentic. It's such a thrill to have someone who's read your work comment on specific chapters and characters. Experiences like these buoy you for weeks on end.
Thanks to Laura for inviting us, and to such great questions and feedback from our fellow writers. Happy writing!

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