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Why My Writers Groups Are Important To Me

When I started writing my memoirs, seriously, I went into full project mode. This is not necessarily a good thing as I can dive so far in that I lose track of what I am trying to accomplish and go off in every direction like the branches of a tree. Every branch has blooms I want to capture them.

But after sitting myself down in conversation with the hypomanic me and the budding take a breath one, I removed a lot of “commitments” and figured out what was important for right now.

The most important thing that made the cut was participation in my writer’s groups. I have joined three of them and write up to six times a week. Sunday’s I remove myself from writing and concentrate on spending time with my husband and friends.

COVID-19 and ZOOM have changed my life, positively. Doors opened and I have eagerly charged through.

Yesterday, in my Wednesday group, I felt an overwhelming need to thank everyone who takes part in it. I did a “shout out” to two in particular as they have become great cheerleaders for me. My appreciation is beyond words, but I tried anyway, getting teary and a bit choked up.

At an Instagrammers meeting in February, three women sowed the seed of my writing my memoirs. I have wanted to for decades, but never thought it possible. In those moments after the meetup, a path opened and beckoned me onto it.

I joined the San Miguel Tues / Wed Writer’s Group a few weeks later and began my journey. Then I found out about an online Lit Camp group and just a couple weeks ago joined my last group.

The groups meet for two to three hours. We go around the ZOOM screen and everyone says their intentions for the session, then we write, coming back at the end to share our progress.

This scheduled and focused chunk of time has allowed me to have accountability and to set small goals. Not having to worry about the huge picture. Not allowing me to jump from one idea or story. I don’t get distracted by surfing social media. I have found out that my ADHD mind needs this modular framework. I am actually getting things done. And for the most part, once the meeting is over, I relax.

Of course, there are days when I am in “the zone” and want to continue working. And I have adopted the flexibility to allow me to do so while remaining focused.

But when four o’clock comes. I am done for the day. It is time for wine and conversation with Glenn, getting ready for our sunset a couple of hours later.

I am awed by the women in my groups. Encouraging, learned, creative. I am among authors who are published, who teach, and who welcome others of every level. They don’t see writers as competition. After all, there are as many stories as there are people. There is room for all of us.

Every announcement of success, large or small, is met with applause, smiles, and commitments to buy the book, attend the launch, or join the workshop.

I love that attitude! Listening to the vileness of it is me against you, I hear daily from the media, this feeling of camaraderie and respect is refreshing.

I grow wings, feeling more confident, learning lessons, and becoming the me I am supposed to be.

And I thank all the members of my groups.

Making a fledgling comfortable, wanted, and included has been their true gift to me.

In the past, friends were coworkers. I did not venture past them. I did not open myself up to others, join groups. I hid, scared my truth would be difficult for others to handle. I didn’t want to experience a great loss. Didn’t want to be turned away.

Now, I have found out that I am worthy, unique, interesting. I am no longer hidden. I shout out my story. And I am comfortable in my skin.

This is what my writer’s groups have instilled in me. May I be worthy of their support.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Lainey Cameron
    September 5, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Beautiful. I just love these two lines Ria

    “After all, there are as many stories as there are people. There is room for all of us.”

    “Now, I have found out that I am worthy, unique, interesting. I am no longer hidden. I shout out my story. And I am comfortable in my skin.”

    This makes me so happy !!! Keep at it!

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    • Reply
      Ria Talken
      September 6, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      Thank you so much, Lainey!! Also for sharing my post on your Facebook. I have been so lucky to determine what type of life is right for me. I realize not everyone can do so, but for those who can, I encourage them to take the leap. Really evaluate what is important and make the changes. Doing so with Glenn has opened up so many opportunities for me. I never thought I would be in groups with such amazing women, who even though I haven’t published anything, have welcomed me like an equal. Thank you for telling me about the San Miguel group, it has been a wonderful addition to my life.

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