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The Writing Group - Gave Life to My Words / 24 November 2015

I have struggled to speak up for myself in the past which is the main the reason I write. I have always been a writer, it was a means of getting the sealed emotions, feelings and desires out of me. I had no professional to guide or teach me to improve my writing skills until I found a writing group.

After years of writing intermittently, I finally completed my first novel "Dangerous Games - What Will People Say?" in 2009. I had written a manuscript of just under 100,000 words. What a relief it was to have finished it and thought 'Now what do I do?'

My first thought was the library, but no one helped. One day, I was wandering around in my lunch hour with my manuscript in my bag, when I bumped into Jeff Phelps, a published author and poet, and a colleague in Wolverhampton Council. I asked him for advice. His first question was “Kuli, are you a member of a writing group?” 'A what? What’s a writing group?' I thought. Jeff encouraged me to contact the Literature Development Officer at the council. It took me a couple of days before I finally attempted to contact Simon Fletcher, the LDO. He was very helpful and invited me to come along to the local writing group, Blakenhall Writers.

Joining a writing group that meets up once a month and being introduced to Simon Fletcher, a tutor of great knowledge of literature, changed my life and turned everything positively around for me as a writer. I made new contacts and new friends with other local writers in the region. 

I have been invited to share my work at different locations in the West Midlands. I have had my work published in national magazines and anthologies.  I have won a prize at a local poetry competition and been introduced to writers around the West Midlands and built up contacts.  

This is the first poem I wrote at the writing group. This was published on Wolverhampton Libraries website:
 
Mine
 
I have a dream; please don’t influence it,
It belongs to me.
I have a delicate heart; please don’t break it,
It belongs to me.
I have peace of mind; please don’t disturb it,
It belongs to me. 
I have to follow a path; please don’t obstruct it, 
It belongs to me.
I have an amazing life; please let me live it,
It belongs to me.
I have a choice; please don’t choose for me,
It belongs to me.
I have freedom; please don’t capture me,
It belongs to me.
I have incredible feelings; please don’t hurt me,
They belong to me.
I have a lot of love; please don’t hate me,
Love is mine to share.
I’m on my material journey; don’t follow me
It won’t be fair.
So… I have a dream; it’s my dream to be free.
 
Last year the Literature Development Officer was made redundant. Now, I help in the running and management of Blakenhall Writers and I am proud to keep it going.

Keywords: poetry,writing

Comments

Deborah Caulfield

/
27 November 2015

This is a great story of having faith in and being true to yourself, and reaching out for support from others.

Being part of an arts community and/or group has been crucial for me too.

Cherry Doyle

/
25 November 2015

What an inspiring story Kuli! I'm so glad you found your voice.

Jeff Phelps

/
25 November 2015

Kuli, I'm proud to be mentioned in connection with your wonderful journey. You're a true poet and a true pioneer.

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