I want to tell you about friends: this group, my group, Mairangi Writers.
Recently, I read in MJ Wright’s blog, http://tinyurl.com/mavxzsf, that Tolkein was part of the ‘Inklings’ group, friends who met in an Oxford pub for over thirty years, including the likes of C.S Lewis and others. Their fellow writers would have listened to the early drafts of Lord of the Rings and the Narnia series – imagine that from a historical perspective. Wouldn’t that be something to boast about to your grandchildren? Likewise, Hemingway and Somerset Maugham, to name just two, met at the now iconic Writers Bar at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, to swap notes and vent frustrations.
In more modest surroundings, Mairangi Writers is a shining example of how friendships like that work. We have, over time, become a collective.
We share experiences, we reveal our inner most thoughts, and we expose our weaknesses through the medium of storytelling. By reading our stories out loud to each other, we lay ourselves bare. We ask for feedback, criticism, and advice and we give what is asked in an endeavour to raise standards. We share our knowledge, our resources and our time. We trust. As with Tolkein and others, being part of a group makes us better.
Through this process, we have all improved. Our writing is better, our cover designs are enhanced and our marketing is strengthened. We know how to do a layout; we understand e-books. We can talk about Goodreads, CreateSpace, Amazon and Smashwords, about royalties and a Writers Diet. We talk about titles and fonts, about Beta-readers and proofreaders and copy-editing and publishing, and understand the language perfectly.
We also share our successes: we combine to promote our books, both collectively and individually created, and teamwork delivers the message.
If you would like to hear a talk, we visit libraries and schools, give presentations to community groups and service clubs, and do book launches and author talks all under the umbrella of Mairangi Writers and sell our books through Lets Buy Books http://letsbuybooks.weebly.com
And who knows, maybe our grandchildren will be able to tell tales of when their famous ancestor shared stories with friends.