I am a contradiction – my grammar is poor, my spelling is horrendous, and my grasp of the English language is rudimentary at best. But I love writing.
I love talking about writing with other writers. I love seeing writers succeed – seeing good writers walk the path that takes them to being great writers.
More than that, I love seeing people who never thought they could write go on to realise that they are writers.
That last point, seeing writers realise they can, was an eye opener for me. I never realised how much I would love seeing that happen until the day I first saw it happen.
One day I might tell that story but all that love is not why we formed Thanet Creative Writers but it is a large part of why we keeping doing what we do.
So why did we start?
Back in 2010, I started saying to people “do you want to start something for writers?” I did that one very simple reason – I love writing but being a writer alone is hard.
Skip forward to 2013 and four people, all of whom had toyed with writing, got together. We did that not because anyone was making us but, like me, those other writers did not want to be writers alone.
Being a writer alone means that when you get stuck with a plot point there is no one to ask for advice.
Being a writer alone means that if you don’t quite get how to write strong dialogue, there is no one to nudge you in the right direction.
Being writer alone means having no peers to give you feedback or to learn from.
Being a writer alone means that you never, ever, get a chance to see inside the creative process of another writer. You get to see finished books on shelves and are left wondering – “how do I get there?”
Being a writer alone means that you have no way to know if what you are writing is any good or how to make it good. More importantly, you have very few options to get help figuring out how to keep improving.
I knew full well that writers groups existed in Thanet. My dad used to take me to poetry circles when I was young. The chances were that there were more somewhere.
I had no idea how to find these groups. It was hard work to find even a clue of other groups and, at the time, what I did find online was so old I could not be sure that the group still existed. None of those few groups had Facebook, Twitter, or even email. That suggested to me that the people in those were probably a lot older than I was.
When I was a child, all the writers seemed to have been doing the same thing for a long time and they all seemed to know what they were doing. Whereas I, quite clearly, had no idea.
So I did what anyone else could have done. I called on my Facebook friends and three people answered the call. Then a few more. Then a few more. That was how Thanet Creative Writers was founded.
What we do is enable people to come together and share their love of writing. What we have is a vibrant community of people not only closer to my own age, but all ages. That gives us all the benefit of youth and aged wisdom at the same time.
That same vibrancy is present in our in-person events, in our social media “forums”, and in our wider writer’s community.
Whatever we do, it comes back to the same thing – we love writing and we want to be with other people who love writing.
If you love writing then come and join us.
Whatever you do, don’t be a writer alone.