It’s been a while between posts, being the silly season and all. This morning I had a few minutes to draw breath and ponder on the ups and downs of my writing year and the thing that jumps out at me is how grateful I am to have been part of two wonderful writing groups.

The first is The Writers’ Dozen. I’ve written about this amazing bunch of writers before http://wp.me/pVnoP-33. We started out six years ago as a group of thirteen wanna be writers with no idea about what it takes to write a book from beginning to end. Sharing the buzz of creating a story out of words on a page has kept us meeting fortnightly at the NSW Writers Centre. In that time we’ve seen each other through the joys of publication and the despair of rejection, learning all the while about the writing process and the publishing industry. We’ve self-published an anthology and raised enough money to build a library in Nepal. While our numbers may have dwindled and our busy lives have sometimes prevented us from meeting as often as we would have liked over the last twelve months, I know that I probably wouldn’t be writing today if it wasn’t for their support and encouragement. We’re all very different individuals writing in a range of styles and genres but the one thing we have in common is our love of writing. We have become more than writing buddies – we have become friends and that connection is one that will last a life time and one that I feel very blessed to have made.

The other group I feel grateful to have been a part of this year is the class I facilitated for the Write Your Book in 2011 course. Once again writing brought a very diverse group of people together all with a common aim – to complete a book by the end of this year. While life got in the way for some, six very determined ladies stuck it out until the end and managed to complete their first drafts – a couple of them even finished two books! Through discussion, workshopping and studying the craft these women realised a dream and now have a complete manuscript to revise and polish in 2012. The improvement in their work and the development in their confidence in critiquing each other’s work and their own was a pleasure to witness. I hope many more people get the opportunity to read their work in the years to come. Once again strong friendships were forged.

The Write Your Book in 2011 Graduates

For many of us publication is the holy grail we seek, myself included, but it’s important to stop along the way and recognise the other gifts that writing bestows on us: connection with ourselves and connection with others. By sharing our ideas and stories, our hopes and dreams, our fears and frustrations with our fellow writers we help each other learn and grow. That’s one of the most valuable things we can do in life. I’d like to say thank you to all my writing buddies, past and present and I look forward to nurturing new writing friendships in the years to come.

I’d love to hear about your writing friendships and how you nurture them.