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There is a common misconception that you have to already be a writer or poet to get any enjoyment out of a creative writing group. This is far from the truth. Everyone has a story inside them waiting to be told and with a guiding hand and a supportive atmosphere, the Time Bank Plus Creative Writing Group is one of the best places to find the confidence and inspiration to go if you’d like to try and tell yours.

Every fortnight, we meet to chat informally in a friendly atmosphere before settling on new topics we’d like to look at over the next few sessions. We also listen to anything we’ve written recently and would like to share and get feedback from.

I joined the group last year to find other people who enjoyed writing as much as I do and to meet more people in my local area. In that time, we’ve explored different types of writing which have expanded my horizons. I’ve learned a lot from the group here and perhaps more importantly, I’ve found people I feel comfortable in sharing my thoughts with. It is also interesting to hear other people’s opinions on poetry, fact and fiction writing in a casual but motivated atmosphere.

We often use prompts to inspire us, bringing objects and photographs from home and telling stories about them in the hope of sharing some of our inspiration and enthusiasm. Sometimes we use examples of other peoples writing, to see different styles and to help us look at things in a different way. We have no set structure, beyond the fact our sessions usually includes a cup of tea, a biscuit and a funny story about something that’s happened since we last met.

For the most part, we just have a laugh and see where inspiration takes us, often taking away notes for ideas to explore at home or next time. I didn’t imagine that I would ever be able to find inspiration in a shopping receipt nor had I realised how differently we can interpret things as people of different ages and backgrounds until we try writing something from the same first sentence.

Sometimes, we do writing exercises where we have time to discuss and write things based on a theme chosen by the group. We like to make everyone feel welcome to speak up and share if they want to or simply listen if that’s what they prefer to do. We tackle both fiction and non-fiction, as well as hearing from writers about their experiences in the field. Every week, it’s something a little bit different that keeps me on my toes. We’re all still learning, after all.

I’ve never felt comfortable with my spelling or grammar and I often have difficulty writing anything of length, but coming to the group every two weeks continues to build my confidence in myself and direct my abilities as well as coming away each week feeling accomplished, inspired and looking forward to next time.

Everyone has a story to tell. With the Creative Writing group at Time Bank Plus, you can get the confidence and the support to tell yours.

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