Monday, April 5, 2010
What Bayou Writers' Group Means to Me by Angie Dilmore
When my family and I moved to Lake Charles three years ago, I had two primary goals. First, to find a church. And second, to find a writers’ group. In Pennsylvania, I had been writing intentionally for seven years and belonged to two different writing groups. I always said I couldn’t be a writer without my critique partners. I knew I’d miss these folks. I hoped I’d find a writers’ group in Lake Charles, not only for help with writing, but to make new friends, as well.
Through a little annual daily devotional called Penned From the Heart, I found Pam Thibodeaux. By contacting her, I discovered BWG. I’m so glad I did. I found not only a terrific group of writers, but lots of friends, too. Over the past three years, I’ve watched BWG grow from a small quiet gathering to a formidable force in the writing life of Lake Charles. We’re about to burst the seams of that Carnegie Library room. If you’re a writer in the Lake Charles area, come visit us!
For me, belonging to a writers’ group is important for so many reasons.
• Writing is a lonely profession. We need the camaraderie of other writer friends who understand the ups and downs of the business; people who can commiserate with the rejections and rejoice with the acceptances.
• A writers’ group provides support, inspiration, and education. BWG regularly schedules excellent speakers who both motivate and instruct us in our writing life. And of course, there’s our annual conference.
• BWG has a weekly Thursday morning gathering at Stellar Beans coffee shop which focuses on critiques. This is the part where I say I couldn’t be a writer without my writer friends. I need feedback on my writing, constructive criticism, to know what works, what doesn’t, and how I can make my writing better, stronger, more publishable. I keep in touch with several of my writing partners from home in Pa., but it’s not quite the same as face to face interaction.
• Having writer friends offers company in the car, companions for the road trips to ridiculously far away conferences. Being a city gal, I’m accustomed to most everything being practically at my doorstep. Since my move, commutes in general, to basically everywhere, have been a major culture shock.
• All the little things that make BWG special; the writing contests for both members and young writers in the community, the support we give to a few local charities, our post-meeting lunches a Piccadilly’s, the fun annual Christmas party . . .
• BWG is simply a great bunch of people. They’re warm and welcoming, encouraging to all writers from the novice to the professional. They’ve proven to be not only writer friends but friends in time of need. When my son was sick last year and in the hospital, several BWG members brought meals to my home, sent cards and gifts, offered advice, visited us in the hospital, and most importantly, prayed. I thank all of you for all you do.
Angie Dilmore is an award winning freelance writer who sells regularly to Boy's Life and other children's magazines. She's coordinator of the 2009 BWG conference, and is working on her first novel. Visit her blog HERE.