Make your writers group a place of inspiration and hope in addition to a workshop of craft

by Amber Keyser
Published on: January 30, 2012
Comments: 2 Comments

Every year, the Viva Scrivas hold a goal setting meeting.  Scriva Addie usually leads us in a series of activities designed to reflect upon the last year and create a plan for the new year. In the past, we’ve prioritized projects to work on, analyzed work-life balance, or identified strengths and weaknesses in our writer=small business owner activities.

This year, we ended up more like group therapy. There is discouragement among us.  The economic downturn has been hard on many of us – lost day jobs, fewer book sales, fewer school visits, glacially-slow acquisitions.  Many of us have had personal struggles.  We needed to vent, to share, to cry, and to re-focus on why we write when it is hard and hardly pays.

To start us out, Addie handed us each nine little slips of paper with the following words:

I really admire/am inspired by the way you…

The word(s) that come to mind first when I think about your writing are…

If I could wish anything for your writing life this year, it would be…

She asked us to fill one out for each member of our group including ourselves.  We put the slips of paper into envelopes and took them home to read later.

Wow!  Between our conversation yesterday and these slips of paper, I came away more focused, less troubled, and ready to take on the challenges of building a sustainable (both emotionally and financially) writing life.

I thought I’d share the list of words my Scrivas used to describe my writing.  I hope some of them will share their lists as well.

inspirational, on, more, razor-sharp, relevant, precise, powerful, strong, amazing VOICE, empowering, exciting, cutting-edge, passionate, intense, thought-provoking, cinematic, soulful, gut-wrenching (in a good way), visceral, brash, fast-paced, adventurous, edgy, creative, punchy, tight, interesting

 It’s important to remember why we do this AND that we can do it well.  Remember!


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2 Comments - Leave a comment
  1. Deb Marshall says:

    You are so right on the remembering the why of what we do. Thanks for reminding us to remember.

  2. OK, I’ll share. Scrivas used these words to describe my writing: lyrical, descriptive, strong voice, something to aspire to, gripping, historical, intelligent, detailed, subtle, intricate, real, engaging, inventive, rich in history, creative, important, funny, worthwhile, smart, confident, engaging, intriguing, smooth, effortless, fearless, drawing us along. Wow! You inspire me. Fearless, eh? Well….

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