For one of our last posts of the year, we thought it would be good to have a retrospective look on what we have been up to this year as a whole and in my case, 2017 has definitely been a year of writing creatively. Although I’d mostly been writing non-fiction posts for this blog, it had been a while since I had seriously been able to devote time to creative writing. I used to love creative writing at school and at university but had not done much since. In early March this year, I attended a short story writing workshop that was part of the always excellent Huddersfield Literature Festival. This was a Mslexia writing workshop with Michele Roberts (Professor of Creative Writing at UEA) so I knew that it would be good and I was not disappointed. At the workshop I met two new friends (Yvonne and Virginia) who I now see regularly as we are all members of the same local writing group.
This group is called The Yorkshire Writers’ Lunch and grew out of a local adult education class that used to be held in Huddersfield. We meet every week for lunch and take it in turns to produce a blog post of creative writing. The blog is really creative and diverse. When I first joined, the group were in a middle of a collaborative spy thriller set in 1958 Algiers, I decided to be mischievous and throw in a new character, the post I wrote for this can be found here. On the blog we also produce short fiction, poetry, and non-fiction pieces. Room 27 is an example of a strange short story that I wrote! Currently we are also in two teams where we are writing screen and radio plays, this has been really enjoyable and I look forward to continuing this next year.
From joining the writing group, I found out about a writing tutor who lives quite near to me, I have since attended many of her classes and feel that my writing has come on leaps and bounds since (thank you Clair for recommending her!). I’ve also found that I particularly enjoy writing in cafes as I seem to concentrate rather well in them!
So really looking back it seems that this year I have been able to devote time to writing creatively more often and looking ahead, there is a lot more that I want to do. I would like to really get cracking with at least one novel, finish an online writing course that I’ve begun a while back and continue to meet fellow writers. I’ve learnt that writing is a journey that it is always important to further develop and improve your writing as there are always improvements to be made. Overall though, this year has been a huge learning curve for me and has taught me the tremendous value of saying ‘yes’ to new creative opportunities and experiences wherever possible. I hope 2017 has been as rewarding creatively for you as it has for me and I look forward to what 2018 brings!