Both as a writer and a creative writing tutor, I love the idea of writing groups. My attention’s been caught by The Romaniacs, a group that’s all about romantic fiction, made up of writers from the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, all of whom are pretty intent on their goals.
Another thing I love is getting somebody else to write my blogposts for me. So I’ll let the Romaniacs tell you about themselves:
Every writer knows how hard it is to keep going when your mind is as blank as the page you’re staring at. That’s where finding a group of like-minded people comes in handy. For us, we believe the strings of fate brought us together.
We share aspirations, and a determination to ‘get there’. We offer a bonded support network, day and night, that isn’t just limited to our writing but is personal, too. We work together to form pieces for the blog and other sites/magazines who request it from us.
Regarding our individual writing goals, we offer feedback, critiquing, and motivational talks to each other to help better our own and each others’ careers.
Via our blog, we highlight our highs and lows to those who follow us. We’re at the beginning of our journeys and offer an in-depth account of the true road to publication. There are lots of people yet to find writing groups and buddies for themselves so our aim is to put a huge Romaniac arm around their shoulders and include them in the writing world, keeping them informed of the technical side (writing tools, interviews with authors/agent/publishers, details of competitions etc) along with the fun side of writing (the friendship, lighthearted posts and the like.)
We met through social networking – Facebook and Twitter – and over the course of a few gatherings, our friendships began to blossom and grow. As Sue Fortin aptly put it, ‘We were conceived at the Festival of Romance 2011, born at the RNA winter party, crawled around New Year and took our first steps into the big wide world in February 2012, when we launched ourselves upon the unsuspecting literary folk.’
Laura James says, ‘There is no jealousy, no selfishness and no one-upmanship. We give and receive support and encouragement, which strengthens our sometimes-fragile self-belief; we bolster each other when our foundations are rocked and keep our communications honest. Above all, we have complete faith and trust in one another.’ Jan Brigden adds, ‘We are nine different personalities, with just one voice.’
Celia agrees. ‘Personal support is a vital part of what we do – I type this whilst sitting next to a beautiful vase of flowers, delivered to me from the others after announcing the loss of my father.’
It’s the strong friendship that builds the foundation of The Romaniacs, the key to making it work.
That, and the crazy streak that runs through us all!
The Romaniacs aren’t looking for new members but are a great example of how a writing group, whether it takes place in a community centre or via the Internet, can help everybody in it.