Saturday, 2 November 2013

Amateur Novelists vs. The Amateur Blogger {Writing Club}

Last year my friend and colleague Anne (or Annabelle as I like to call her) took part in NaNoWriMo –  National Novel Writing Month – where aspiring novelists work towards writing a 50,000 word novel between the 1st and 30th November.  {Find out a bit more about how it works here.}  Then this summer my brother Matt went on sabbatical to California where he spent time at a writing retreat working on a novel he’s been privately formulating for years.  Matt set up a blog to document his travels and share his experiences with friends, family and colleagues and slowly but surely amateur novelists back home started to come out of the wood work. 

With this year’s NaNoWriMo  fresh off the mark and Matt’s writing sabbatical getting people talking (and motivated) Anne suggested we start a Writing Club amongst (but not necessarily exclusive to) our work colleagues.  Genius!  Now, when I started this blog I didn’t give much thought to writing style and definitely didn’t think of myself as a ‘writer’.  I’ve never thought about the possibility of writing a novel, but I do love books, and I do love writing…. is there a place for an amateur blogger at writing club? 

Spurred on by the fact that I’ve been given some really good feedback from readers and encouraging comments about my writing style (hi Nicola!) I decided I’d give writing club a go.  Writing is writing right?  And while I may not be aiming to be the next J K Rowling I think I may be able to offer a little something different to the club. 

So how will I be using my Writing Club time? 

While my fellow writing club members are working on character profiles, setting scenes and twisting plot lines how will I be making good use of writing club?  To be honest when I first sat down at Coffee No.1 with my skinny gingerbread latte surrounded by aspiring novelists I wasn’t really sure.  I was totally unprepared.  I didn’t even have a notebook and pen with me let alone my tablet and blog planner.  At first I tentatively took part in writing exercises and uncertainly listened as my colleagues exchanged ideas and advice on their latest chapter, then slowly but surely I started offering my input and formulating ideas.

Lately I seem to have let the busyness of life distract from my blog but writing club has helped remind me how much I love to write and made me more determined to dedicate time to writing all the blog ideas that float around in my head.  It has also got me thinking about my writing style and how it can be improved, the reasons why I started blogging and what I aim to get out of it.
So with armed with my updated blog planner, a new notebook (any excuse) and grim determination to, eh, blog… I am so ready for next week’s writing club gathering (and maybe a white chocolate mocha).  Watch this space!

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