A Fun Week Night Hobby

Published: 19th January 2011
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In the past I joined all kinds of assorted groups in hopes of hearing something important. I took part in a dream group, a journal writing group, a womans group, a belly dance group, an improv acting workshop and a writers group along with many others.

I did take away quite a lot of knowledge and personal growth depending on the group and the teacher of the group. I tried going to groups where I had to pay a facilitator or teacher to conduct the group. I also attended groups made up of my peers where we were doing it for fun, led it ourselves and didnít have to pay anyone.

In college I had to take part in a writers group that was part of my full course of classes, what they called a Ďprogramí at my college. This was a journal writing shop that was led by a highly skilled instructor. But I did also notice that she heavily used a book about how to lead yourself on a journal writing journey.

When I was done with school and went to a city, this gave me an idea. I was writing a lot of poetry plus short, true stories and by that time I had tried out a bunch of different types of support groups for writing. I didnít want to pay anyone to be in a writers group at that point because I couldnít afford to.

I asked a bunch of my friends if they wanted to form our own group together. We would get together once a week at a local cafť and choose writing exercises from several good books.

Three of us ended up doing this for more than a year. Everyone else dropped out, but we all liked it enough and got enough variety from it that we just wanted to keep on going. We tried a lot of different types of writing and we all felt that our writing skills developed in leaps and bounds from trying different things plus getting feedback from one another.

It was fun, plus if we didnít feel that much like writing we could always just talk to each other and drink coffee. I became much closer with these friends than I expected to, and we maintained a friendship beyond writing after schedules changed and we decided not to continue on with the group.

One of the lessons I learned from this was that choosing an activity that you usually have to pay money to learn and facilitating it yourself is both fun and effective. And it can have extra benefits such as adding interest to the rest of your life and increasing friendships.

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