Monday, June 10, 2013

Savvy Authors Writing Communities Blog Tour

When Savvy Authors' Membership Director, Melinda Pierce, asked for volunteers to write blog posts about writing communities for the site's big re-launch blog tour, I jumped at the chance with twinkle-eyed enthusiasm. I sat down to write my contribution a few weeks later, only to realize that I didn't really have much experience outside of Savvy to talk about. I gave it a good long think, and I kept coming back to an early experiment from my youth. Cue the 90's pop punk music in the background as the wavy lines shuffle across the screen to take us back in time...

When I was nineteen, I started a little "writing" group with some friends and co-workers all around the same age as me. We got together every two weeks or so in my tiny apartment that I shared with three other people to drink Boone's Farm and explore our creative tendencies. I think our original idea was to eventually collaborate on a zine - you know, those little booklets of photocopied pages folded in the middle and stapled up that every young person in college tries to produce at one point or another, usually full of artwork and bad poetry.

Our meetings revolved around group writing at the messy kitchen table and geeking out over our favorite authors. We knew nothing about craft or the business of writing, and we shared very little of what we wrote during the sessions. Sometimes we would draw or try our hand at song lyrics instead, and we even attempted to incorporate a book club into the mix, but most of the group didn't read the selection (maybe The Good Earth was a poor choice for the first book, LOL).

We were young and clueless, but it was the feeling of being part of something special that has stuck with me. Despite the fact that nothing measurably productive came out of it, that pseudo-writing group was exciting and filled me with a creative energy that kept the spark of writing passion alive for many years. Eventually the whole thing fizzled out (as these things do) and we went back to playing video games and watching X-Files on Sunday nights.

Unfortunately, I've never had another opportunity to join a writing group in person, but Savvy Authors has shown me that you don't need to be sitting at the same table to get that  kind of support and shared enthusiasm for writing. The biggest difference is that the Savvy community has both experienced and novice authors, giving me a chance to learn from the pros while also achieving new insights along with fellow aspiring writers. And I can still have a nice glass of wine while interacting with them, although I've traded in the Boone’s Farm for slightly more sophisticated brands :)

A big thanks to Melinda and all the wonderful Savvy Author peeps for their hard work and dedication to giving writers of all kinds a great place to hang out, meet new friends, and find the resources to reach our goals. Visit Savvy Authors today and check out the rest of the stops on the tour listed below.

Hit the comments and tell me about your own experiences with writing communities, good or bad.


Join the Savvy Authors admin and volunteers as we tour the blogosphere in anticipation of the launch of our improved and updated website. We are excited to share our love of Savvy, and all writing communities, with each of you during the summer months. Below is a list of stops we’ll be making – please feel free to stop by and say hello! (and definitely check out the new look of our site)

May 27th – Melinda B. Pierce on Author’s For Life
June 10th – Ella Gray on The Speculative Salon
June 12th – Elizabeth Gibson on Maggie’s Meanderings
June 19th – Sharon Pickrel on Pen of the Dreamer
June 21st – Riley Darkes on Writing Secrets of Seven Scribes
June 25th – Leslie Dow on A Writer’s Musings
June 24th – Angel Realz on The World in My Hands
June 28th – Marilyn Muniz on
July 1st – Lynda K. Frazier on Guelph Write Now


Melinda B. Pierce said...

I love this story! Thanks for sharing, Ella. :)


EW Gibson said...

hahahaha! Boone's Farm! Never heard of that drink, but it sounds like the kitchen table was the place to be. Cool story.

Ella Gray said...

Thanks Melinda and Elizabeth :)

Looking forward to the new website and the rest of the tour!

Marilyn Muñiz said...

I will need to look up this drink, Boone's Farm. I wonder if it pass on creative power to my brain. ^_^

Thanks for sharing Ella!

Tonette dela Luna said...

Nice retro post, Ella!

Got me thinking back to my earliest memories of writing and all the zany writing projects I'd come up with. I recall writing a radio play in the seventh grade called "Lust for Schmutz." Not sure why I was such a fan in the seventh grade (though I still enjoy those movies today), I liked watching/rewatching 'Romancing the Stone' and 'Jewel of the Nile'--must be because the female lead is a writer. :) Anyhoo, I had Danny DeVito in mind for Schmutz and Kathleen Turner as the bombshell love interest who ends up double-crossing him.

A couple of my classmates and I recorded the script, did various accents, and even used a Minus-One karaoke machine to insert the score: Opening/Closing Credits: Theme for 'St. Elmo's Fire', Action Sequence where Cops surround the restaurant: Axel-F. My favorite moment was when my dad helped bring the machine into the washroom to record the toilet flushing.

Yep. My earliest writing community was this in lieu of slumber parties.

Thanks for reminding me of my lifelong love affair with the written/spoken word.



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