By Heather McBride
It takes a lot of work to be a writer, and sometimes it can get lonely, but the good news is that there is a local group of writers in your area.
One year ago, Bernadette Pajer, a published mystery author from Monroe, decided to start a writing group, hoping it would give back to the community for their support. Every week since then, the Monroe Wednesday Writers have gathered together to learn and grow in their personal writing.
“Write to express, not to impress,” is Bernadette’s own personal motto, which she frequently shares with the rest of the group.
Since January of last year, there have been a total of 40 attendees and about 20 core members. The writing genres range from personal blogs to sci-fi to zombies.
The group turned out to be bigger than anticipated because, among the variety of genres and writing styles, the camaraderie is supportive.
Most members of the group found that the largest benefit of attending the weekly meetings was getting outside opinions about their work. Pajer, the group leader, agreed, saying that there are always two sides to a book; the reader’s perspective and the writer’s perspective. It’s important to see your work through the reader’s eyes and reflect on the journey the reader is taking.
Maria, who came seeking answers to her questions about fiction writing techniques, has found that attending the group is greatly improving her writing.
“I don’t think I could get more professional answers than here,” she said, and many of the members agree. The group focuses on each individual’s writing style and technique, helping to find their unique “voices,” and giving weekly deadlines, if desired.
After a year of attending the weekly group meetings, members say that they have found themselves growing in their writing, and enjoying being helpful and supportive to the other members. Bernadette, herself, finds the group useful to her own work.
Even though it’s difficult to be a writer, it’s easy to find inspiration and support from published author Bernadette Pajer and the Monroe Wednesday Writers group, every week at 7 p.m. at the Monroe Library.