Nicole J. Simms

Happy Birthday Oldbury Writing Group

Post date: 22nd August 2018

Four years ago today, I tentatively walked into the Oldbury Library to join a writing group. Fast forward four years and I’m still with that group.

I can’t believe it’s been four years since the Oldbury Writing Group (OWG) formed. I’ve said it before, but that day I decided to join a writing group, I didn’t expect things to work as well as they have. Over the years, members have come and gone, but we are now bigger and better than ever. We’ve published a World War Two anthology together (From Sunrise to Sunset), we’re working on another anthology, we’ve gone on so many fun and inspiring trips that I’ve lost count. Okay, I’ll name some: we’ve been to Sandwell Valley, Leasowes Park, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the PowWow Festival of Writing, Museum of Cannock Chase and the theatre. We’ve also done some great things together, such as being interviewed on the local radio, doing a book tour, attending open mics, taking part in charity events, reading out our stories and poems to an audience and taking part in the second Wolverhampton Literature Festival. During the last four years, the OWG has grown to become the group that I’m so proud to be a part of.

I’m the deputy leader of this group (the second in command), and I manage our online presence. I never thought I could lead, even at a deputy level. I’ve gone from being the quiet person in the room who hardly speaks to someone who chairs the meetings when Angela, our great leader (I love calling her that. You have to say it in a dramatic voice, though), is unable to attend our meetings. Now I love wearing a lot of pink clothes and accessories, but believe it or not I don’t like to be the centre of attention. So, the thought of having lots of eyes focus on me while the group wait for me to say something was terrifying but thanks to this group, I now have the confidence to allow my voice to be heard.

In the beginning, I did fear that I was making a mistake. I had heard so many horror stories, such as writers tearing each other’s work to shreds or stuck-up writers who thought they were better than everyone else and used the meetings to remind everyone of this. This was something I didn’t want to experience, especially as I was feeling a little fragile at the time, but I had nothing to worry about. In fact, joining the Oldbury Writing Group was the best decision I have ever made. I have had so many wonderful experiences, and I’ve met so many interesting people. You know, being a member of the Oldbury Writing Group is like being on a never-ending adventure.

It’s lovely to be surrounded by so many talented individuals, and it’s even better to have seen them grow and step out of their comfort zone. We’ve had an amazing four years together, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us. So, happy birthday, Oldbury Writing Group, and thank you for being the writing group that this self-doubting writer needed.

Are you a member of a writing group? If you are, or you have any questions about being part of a writing group, then feel free to comment below.

Keep writing, folks!

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