I joined a writing circle with a bunch of retired English teachers. At first I was a little apprehensive. Who would want to hang out with teachers, especially retired ones who know the ways of a student. Their wisdom and knowledge was intimidating enough to scare any student, no matter the age. Now, I’m an English teacher, but a room full of experienced teachers is scary.
No, not really. It was a lot of fun! Sure, they we were old enough to be a parent, but they were funny!
We shared our writing and “talked story.” The feedback and sharing was awesome, because they knew their stuff. They suggested various elements of craft to enhance the piece. They actually knew what they were talking about when it came to writing and literature. I was very impressed with their knowledge and enjoyed the camaraderie.
There was no pressure and no hint of pretentiousness. For the most part, they sincerely seek honest feedback and for fun. Some are published, I’m sure, but most of them have worked with each other in the past, stemming out of a particular writing class they took together back in 1992. They were encouraging and supportive. I love the experience and sincerely hope to go back to know them better.
There were inside jokes and discussions of school and the DOE, I didn’t get as an outsider and newbie to the circle, but it didn’t matter. I had a strong appreciation for the knowledge and the warmth they had for the group and the love of writing. As a student of writing, I eagerly enjoy and seek to improve myself. My love of writing soured as an art form encouraged by the mere pleasure of enjoying the craft with others in the writing circle.