Writing is hard work. It might seem easy: a few words on a page, pen to paper or fingers on keyboard. But while the tools are simple enough, getting them to do what you want is not always straightforward.
I wanted a way to practice and improve my own writing as I work on my fiction and non-fiction books. They say that the best way to improve as a writer is to read more and write more. So I’m doing just that.
I’m devouring books on writing, on creativity and also on the link between creativity and motherhood. As I’m reading I keep coming across these ah-ha moments, these insights that hit me. I want a way to discuss them with others, and it occurred to me that if they are helpful to me, they will probably be helpful to others.
Plus, the best way for me to learn is to teach – it deepens my learning. It’s in my nature to share and discuss ideas. I’ve taught writing at high school level, and I’d love to develop my knowledge further.
Writing might seem like a very solitary activity, but in the reading I’m doing, the idea of sharing and being part of a larger writing community keeps coming up. And since I don’t really have much of a local writer’s community, I thought I’d create my own, online.
Thus, the No-Pressure Writing Group was born. I named it as such because I want it to be simple, fun and not overwhelming. You don’t have to be a ‘proper writer’ to join. We will look at simple writing ideas, have writing exercises and, if we want to, share some of our writing in a safe environment (feedback will only be provided if we ask for it). This way we can be part of a writing community, be accountable for developing our writing, be seen as writers, and feel less alone on our writing journeys.
Here is a brief overview of how the group will work:
- Each Wednesday I’ll share some sort of lesson, topic or reading – it will be very much bite-sized, a few paragraphs outlining an idea I found interesting, or a few lines from one of the books that inspired me, etc. Something you can digest in 20 minutes or less, and then explore on your own (if you like).
- Writing prompts/topics to help you write. You’ll get a list of daily topics for the week ahead, plus one deeper writing prompt tied to the weekly theme/lesson.
- Our main tool will be the daily timed writing practice – whether it’s 3 minutes or 30 minutes, whatever you can manage. And some days you won’t get to it at all, and that’s ok too. But we set this as our main tool to practice our writing and explore our ideas.
- Suggested/further reading on topics – if you’re interested.
- Weekly sharing of any piece of writing you want to share (or not – sharing is not required). Sharing will be under one of two conditions: 1) sharing just for the sake of being seen, of showing up but no feedback required, or 2) sharing and asking for feedback to improve. The sharer decides what kind of sharing it is – so you can share if you want, without worrying about what others might say.
This writing group is hosted on my Patreon community – if you’re not a patron, you can become one and join the writing group for only $5 a month. Think of this as a small contribution towards my time in finding interesting writing topics, writing prompts and other inspiring material.
I hope you’ll come join us!