Monday, 10 September 2012

Every writer needs a PWA!

"Ah-ha, ah-ha, but what is a PWA?" I hear you ask (channelling Dr Seuss). Allow me to explain...

The PWA is short for the Procrastinating Writers' Association. Like the best nights out, it came about spontaneously and without any real planning. In October 2011 a few of us formed an online Facebook group for NaNoWriMo. We all had different goals - from ploughing on with books to writing more short stories - but essentially we wanted to stop getting distracted and get some writing done!

Over time our little group has evolved into something really special. Sometimes life gets busy and it can be hard to make time for meet-ups - but thanks to the internet a group of fellow writers is never too far away. The PWA has given us a space to share ideas, celebrations, commiserations, gossip, news about life and the odd picture of Branson from Downton Abbey... {ahem}.

The thing is, writing can be intense. Possibly every writer is a bit crazy - happy to spend time locked in a room in their head with a bunch of non-existent people who somehow conspire to bring themselves into existence. There's only so much a long-suffering spouse or pet can listen to as you cackle with delight at your latest plot twist or evil villain. That's why it's so important to find people who understand.

So if you're struggling to finish your latest project, why not get together with other people who get the crazy? Why not create your own PWA? You won't look back.

And before I go let me introduce you to our PWA...

This is Julie Agnew. Although she was no doubt a child prodigy she is a bit older than this now so don't feel insecure. She writes lovely poems but she's also working on her first book, which is very, very funny and warm-hearted, rather like Julie herself. It has a working title of 'Holly' because that's what the main character is called and the rest of the PWA are going to torment her until she finishes it because we want to know how it ends! On a side note, she posts distracting pictures of semi-naked Olympians to take us away from work. Grrrrr (not).

This is Bernie McGill. I met Bernie (and the other PWA members) when I joined the Creative Writing Class at Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart. Bernie is the endlessly patient and positive tutor in the class, who somehow manages to help you critique your work while being incredibly gentle and encouraging. She's also the author of a beautiful novel The Butterfly Cabinet, prize-winning short stories and a couple of plays. You can find out more about Bernie and her work if you visit her lovely website.

And finally... presenting Mandy Taggart! Mandy writes absolutely beautiful short fiction, some pieces really moving, some with a wonderful thread of dark humour running through them. She has been awarded an Arts Council grant for 2012-13 to give her the chance to focus on her writing - hurrah! You can find links to some of her published stories on her Facebook page, including a link of her reading a piece called Skiboo out loud - and singing! Brave woman!

So, are you feeling inspired? Will you be setting up your own PWA?


Ashley McCook said...

Lovely post - congrats on your wonderful group and very best wishes to you all. :-)

Debbie McCune *Notebook to Novel* said...

Thanks Ashley - I highly recommend some PWA creation :-)

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