Love Thy Creative Group
As a response to a culture saturated with superficial pursuits and social media, there seems to be a growing phenenomon of meet up groups where common interests can be shared in a physical environment. This may be considered a reactionary trend, though it’s one that I believe provides a critique of how many of us live in the modern world. If meeting up for face-to-face contact or conversation over coffee seems quaint or old-fashioned, it also addresses certain aspects that are missing from busy working lives, where often it’s Facebook or Instagram that satisfies our need to connect (albeit in partial or fragmentary ways).
In the world of poetry and creative writing there are (especially in larger cities) plenty of groups to join, whether these are reading groups or workshops that aim to provide feedback on early drafts. As useful as these groups can be for the confident and accomplished writer, they can at the same time be rather intimidating for the novice or those struggling with personal blocks to their creativity. Likewise, though writers often enjoy sharing or discussing the end product (be that a poem or other form of writing), what is often overlooked is the need to talk about what the life of a writer entails, including issues around inspiration, obstacles and discipline.
As such, a new group has emerged in Chorlton, South Manchester, as an answer to the common need to discuss, more broadly, creative practice: Love Thy Creative Group, which meets at Love Thy Neighbour every Thursday from 3-5pm.
Here, as one might expect, those who attend are welcome to read and ask questions about their writing; but what often seems just as valuable, if not even more so, are conversations about other aspects of writing – such as making use of ajournal for preliminary ideas, early experiences of writing, attitudes to submitting poems, or dealing with perceived rejection. The group offers participants a gentle approach, which could appeal to those feeling particularly vulnerable.
I have at times facilitated this group, though only in terms of the practicalities. What we usually find is that our conversions around creativity flow as they would do among our friends, though here with the special difference of meeting new people while having a common ground already established. Rather than talk of poetry, which can seem rather highbrow or inaccessible to many, we talk of expression in writing, and how representing our inner world or fluctuations of mood can have therapeutic effects. I think this kind of group is much needed and, as far as I’m aware, rather unique. If you are one of the many inhibited talents out there, looking to unlock or enable your practice, this is the place for you.
For further details of the next event (free), find the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/875358442669359/
There is also a Facebook discussion group, for those unable to meet in person, at