Great day out at Alfreton attending the writers' event put on by Derbyshire County Council. Hosted by Ali Betteridge it was a chance for local writers to meet up and swop ideas and thoughts... and fears.
One of the things that's essential for writers to do these days is to network. Which is hard for many writers, because all we really want to do is sit and write.
And be discovered as the next masterpiece. Doesn't happen these days, or not often.
It's tough to put your writing to the test. I know how scared I was when I first took my business writing course. Because wanting to do it, doing it and being judged on writing are very different things. And now I'm just as scared about putting my fiction to the test.
This morning I was talking to Di Slaney of Diversity about the same thing. We need different hats on to perform all of these tasks. And the getting in front of others is the scariest task for most of us.
Back to the day at Alfreton. Such a mixture of people attending. Poets, playwrights, those who were publshed in one fiction genre and trying another.
People at every different stage of writing development; from raw beginner to published author with large mainstream houses.
What they all had in common was this passion for words and how to communicate that passion best.
One of the reasons I went was to take part in a couple of sessions about writing projects in the community. For as much as writing is powerful for us with a voice, it's also powerful for people who seem not to have any voice; like those in prison, either real, or the prison of the mind.
It was intesting to hear other people's steps in their development, like Cathy Grindrod fisrt Derbyshire Poet Laureate and River Woolton, second Derbyshire poet laureate.
From the outside it may seem as if they know it all but inside, they've faced the same writing and personal demons as most of us. And in the panel discussion, local poet Wayne Burrows made a strong case for using lack of self belief in our writing to make us stronger writers. As he said,'If you think you know how to do it, you'll never improve.'
Excellent day, enjoyed meeting all those writers and look forward to the next event they organise.
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