Writing Group Ideas

Recently the idea of starting a writing group/club at my school for my grade 12 year has been circling around in my mind, and I decided that since I have done all this research on ideas of what we could do each meeting, it would be selfish not to share some of these ideas with you! Anyways, if you are thinking of starting a writing group, here are some ideas and I hope they help 🙂

  • Write-Ins – We all have busy lives that sometimes get in the way of writing so write-in days are super valuable. Maybe once a month your writing group could devote a meeting to simply working on their own individual projects. Just having other writers around, working on their projects, will help motivate so many people that everyone will walk away feeling productive and inspired to write.
  • Critiquing – Another valuable use of a meeting could be devoted to critiquing other people’s works. You can get into groups or pairs, or if you don’t feel comfortable having someone read your work, then you don’t have to participate at all. A lot of writers will want to though, and will be so happy to get a free critique from a fellow writer.
  • Circle Chats – This is an idea that tries to get the whole group involved in discussing some topic related to writing. It may be the topic of writer’s block, finding the motivation to keep writing, or finding your voice…whatever it is, have everyone pitch in one tip or idea just to spread the knowledge and experience!
  • Prompt Days – For this idea, basically all you need is to come up with one (or a few) prompts. Write them up on a board or give everyone a piece of paper with it on, and then have everyone write a piece based off that prompt. It will help get the creative juices flowing and if anyone feels comfortable, they can share what they wrote afterwards!
  • Show and Tell – This is pretty self-explanatory, but have a mini open mic session! If anyone wants to share some work, devote a chunk of the meeting for people who want to share their stories. This is always a lot of fun and always makes me inspired to write.
  • Guests – Maybe you are able to get in a creative writing teacher, or a local author. If so, that would be amazing and add so much to your meetings! I really recommend doing some research and reaching out to some fellow creative people to see who would be interested.
  • Craft Book Club – By this, I mean instead of having a book club where you read fiction books, choose to read a book on the craft of writing instead. Something easily accessible for everyone or that a lot of people already own. Give a time period to read it and then sit down and discuss all the valuable nuggets of information you all discovered and how you plan to apply it to your writing.

Those are a few of the ideas I found or came up with while thinking about my own writing group. Remember, if your town/city doesn’t have a writing group and you want to be in one, create your own! It may seem daunting at first, but it will be worth it in the end! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post linked down below, as well as follow my social media accounts for more bookish and writing related fun 🙂

Last Blog Post: 10 Questions Every Writer Should Ask Themselves

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Quick Chat: Self Doubt As a Creative Person

Self doubt is something everyone feels from time to time, creative or not, and it has been something that has been keeping me from feeling motivated to outline and write lately. I do want to write, I really do. It feels like forever since I have sat down and just explored another world apart from our own, but the pressure to make all those words not just good but great is something I have been dealing with lately. Currently I am a high school student finishing up my grade eleven year, which means next year I have to start making choices about where I want to go next in my life. I know I want to be a writer, but that isn’t something you get handed to you even if you do go to post-secondary school for it. Since that is the case, I feel like I have to start going hard with writing and produce amazing pieces that I can actually build a career off of and that is exactly when the self doubt starts trickling in. My current thought process when it comes to writing is that if it isn’t good enough in that moment, it means I am not good enough either. Obviously I know that is not the case, and that writing takes lots of revising to make it readable, but as a student with expectations from others apart from myself I cannot seem to register that. Lucky for me I have time, but that doesn’t seem to help with my self doubt. I have been trying to change how I view my writing (or not writing) by doing these three things whenever I get stressed thinking about it:

  1. Taking long walks
  2. Reading
  3. Listening to writing podcasts and audiobooks

These three things have really been helping me gain perspective and insight on my writing and future. The walks help me organize my thoughts, reading helps me refuel my creativity and give me more ideas for my own writing, and listening to a writing podcast or audiobook simply inspires me. I also have to remind myself that I can’t do it all. It is hard being a full-time student, a blogger, a reader, and a writer, trying to fit all that in each day. Slowly I am getting better at it but everyday is still a challenge because if I don’t succeed in it all, I am left with a bitter taste in my mouth that is self doubt. If any of you feel similar remember that you aren’t alone! Creative people everywhere face the same struggle as we do, and guess what, soon you will learn to diminish that little voice in your head that tells you you aren’t good enough, it just takes time. All you can do is keep creating and everything will work out in the way it is supposed to.

Thanks for joining me on this jumbled ramble and I hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post where I talk about books that I keep putting off: Intimidating TBR Tag!

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Twitter:@zoermathers

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Should You Take a Creative Break?

Is it okay to take a creative break? Will it affect my creativity? 

Those are two questions I find myself asking a lot and guess what, it is okay to take a creative break and it won’t affect your creative process or love for creativity. If you love to be creative that won’t change even if you take a few days off or even an entire week off. Sometimes we just need to take a step back, do something else and then come back to it later because it will still be there when you get back, waiting for you.

I always struggled with taking breaks from writing and blogging because I was scared that I when I came back I wouldn’t be as in love with it or motivated about it as I am now. Only recently have I realized how wrong I was though! I need a break every so often because I don’t want to burn myself out or put too much stress on my shoulders. If you do that, and put too much pressure on your creative passion, then you might start hating it anyways and it will be because you didn’t take a break. Sometimes I take a break because I want some time to just aimlessly think about a project I am working on, or even time to think about anything but my project!

Today’s post is kind of a ramble, but something that all us creative people need to be reminded of. I also wanted to tie this in with some news that my blogging schedule will not be very consistent for the next while. This inconsistency might only last a week or it might last a month, but I just need some time to not feel stressed about putting a blog post out every day and I also need some time to think of some more content! My goal is to post at least two or three blog posts a week still, and I might come to the conclusion by the end of my “break” that two to three posts a week will become a new schedule. I love putting out a lot of blog posts a week, but it is challenging and I don’t want to regurgitate information I already have on my blog.

Anyways, that is all for my blog post today and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading + Writing Update

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Twitter:@zoermathers

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Creative Living

It has been a while since I have done a rant on my blog, and I thought it was due, especially considering that I have felt really passionate about this topic lately, and that topic is creative living. I apologize if this rant is a little all over the place, but I felt a spike of inspiration and just wrote without planning. Please leave any comments or opinions down below because I would love to hear all of your views on creative living!

Image result for creativity quotes from big magic

Creative living is like falling into a river and letting the water carry you; watching as it leads you towards a sea of unknown. Along the way there are forks in the stream, and once and a while, the water will shift you into a completely new direction. It is a little scary at first, the journey will be filled with uncertainty and hesitation as the roaring water carries you away from your initial destination. You fight it at first, treading against it until your muscles ache, but eventually you give yourself up to the push of the water and it continues to carry you away. After a while though, the water calms down, and instead of fighting against it, you let it carry you to this new place. There are still twinges of hesitation and uncertainty, but they are swallowed by a new feeling; a warm, tingly feeling in your stomach. Curiosity. And that is what you are agreeing to when you travel down the path of creativity.

Creative living is often looked down upon because of its journey, and its usual end result. While the end result of pursuing creativity may not be mounds of money and a big, fancy house, it is usually happiness and fulfillment because creating something that you feel so passionately about will always be worth it in the end…whether the world pays you for it or not. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be nice to be generously rewarded for pursuing creativity if it is what you really wanted, but there is more to life than riches. Besides, being rich doesn’t guarantee happiness. However, creating does.

What amazes me, is that young people are so often steered towards accessing their creativity in school by having various options of art and music and theater classes to choose from. Yet once you leave high school, creativity is just seen as a hobby. However, labeling your creativity as just a hobby is fine, because you may be more interested in other subjects, but for those who see their creativity as more than a hobby, but a way of life, it is frustrating. Once you descend into post secondary school, there are a lot more options to join classes and clubs on creativity, but if you say you are going to be majoring in art or theater or writing, you will ultimately be faced with the question: well what do you plan to do with that? What stable job could you even get with a degree in art? Well there are a lot actually. They just might not pay as much as a doctor, or a lawyer. When I say I want to pursue writing, that doesn’t automatically mean all I want to do is write a novel. Besides, I know the risks and outcomes that come with wanting that, and only wanting that. Even though I may look it, I am more than a small child with stars in my eyes and a dream that is slightly out of reach. Since I know what a life of creativity means, it means I am open to the possibilities of non-fiction, creative non-fiction and technical writing…really the list goes on and on. The point is, I know it won’t be the easiest career but that’s okay. Its my dream.

Image result for creativity quotes from big magic

We have to remember that every job is hard, and requires you to work for it. Creativity just happens to be a bit more of a bumpy journey; especially if you go into it with the mindset that you are going to become a world famous artist or an author whose first book is going to sell millions of copies and be turned into a movie…that most likely won’t happen, at least not right away. But if you keep practicing and exercising your creativity, I see no reason why you can’t pursue it as a lifestyle and at least be semi successful, whether that means you make some money off of your art or you just have a blast doing it. Creativity only asks three things of you in return, and those are to never give up, to ignore the negativity of what others say, and to be flexible to whatever pathway of unpredictable and wondrous adventures it leads you down.

That is all for today and I really hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update 🙂