Nicole J Simms/ August 22, 2017/ Blog/ 0 comments

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Today (22nd August 2017) marks Oldbury Writing Group’s third birthday. I can’t believe that it’s been three years since I joined this writing group. Over the years we have done so many amazing things, and I have developed as a writer, especially when it comes to reading my work out to an audience.

It doesn’t seem that long ago when I decided to take myself out of my comfort zone and join a group of strangers. I had started writing again in early 2012. It had been at a time where I had felt lost and unsure about my future. I’m a planner, but nothing had gone to plan, so I was left with not knowing what else to do. That’s when I decided to start writing again. I found free courses online (some of them aren’t available anymore, so I’m not sure they were meant to be free hehe) and after writing some short stories, I decided to try to get them published. I eventually received a story acceptance, and then began my rollercoaster ride of a journey. But I was still missing one thing: I didn’t have anyone to share my writer lows and highs with. I have my momsi who has always been supportive of my writing dream – she even reads my horror stories for me, even though they freak her out. However, it’s hard for a non-writer to understand what it’s like to be a writer. And that’s when I decided that I needed to join a writing group. I had heard many stories about writing groups, some good, and some bad, but I was still determined to find one, feeling that the positives outweigh the negatives. It was while I was on Facebook scrolling through the posts when I spotted an advert for a writing group in my local library. I couldn’t believe it. It felt like fate, especially as I hadn’t even started properly looking for a group, and right there in front of me was an advert for a writing group. So after noting down the details, I decided to join.

The days before the first meeting, I have to admit, I was terrified, I didn’t know what to expect. I feared that no one would like me, or all the negatives I had heard would happen: people would tear my stories to shred, or I would be the only person who wanted to join. But I didn’t allow my fears to stop me. When the day came, I made my way to the library to join the writing group, and I am so happy that I did. I have written about my first meeting experience in my ‘The Writing Group Experience’ blog post, so I won’t bore you with the full story again.

Three years have since passed, and I’m happy to say that the Oldbury Writing Group is still together, and we have achieved and experienced a lot during those three years. We have gone to the PowWow Festival of Writing, gone to the theatre more than once, celebrated VE Day at the Cannock Chase Museum, visited cemeteries, explored Wednesbury, visited Haden Hill House, been on the radio, completed a WW2 anthology together titled From Sunrise to Sunset, and gone on a book tour, and so much more.

Being a member of the Oldbury Writing Group has helped me to grow as a writer and as a person. I now call myself a writer, and I read out my stories to an audience without reading as fast as Usain Bolt runs. I have found my voice – I no longer sit in the back and keep quiet. And I have the support and encouragement that I have always needed. Also, I have met some wonderful, and talented people, who I now consider as friends. Writing can be a lonely job, but thanks to the Oldbury Writing Group, I’ll never have to feel alone again. I always look forward to our Saturday meetings and group trips; they are the highlight of my week.

So, happy birthday, Oldbury Writing Group. I hope we have many more amazing years ahead of us. And I would like to thank all the individual members because it’s them who make the Oldbury Writing Group so special. Oh, and I need to thank Angie (our great leader) because if it wasn’t for her deciding to start the group, we would have never met. It’s funny how life turns out.

If you want to know more about the story of how the Oldbury Writing Group was born, then please read our ‘Oldbury Writing Group’s 3rd Birthday’ blog post.

Are you a member of a writing group? If you are, then I would love to hear your experiences, so feel free to comment below.

Keep writing, folks!

Oh, and before I go, if you want email alerts of my latest posts, then please subscribe. And don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter, or like my Facebook page.

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