Cobbler. Umber. Haunt. Grumble. Raincoat. Could you write a thoughtful and descriptive story on the fly that incorporates these words?
That is exactly what Plano Parks & Recreation’s Writer’s Critique and Discussion Group engages in twice a month. The group was formed about a year ago and meets every second and fourth Monday from 1-3 p.m. at the Gladys Harrington Public Library (1501 18th St.) while the Plano Senior Recreation Center is being renovated.
Writers from all backgrounds and experience levels have joined the writer’s group in order to share, critique and learn in a positive atmosphere. Brandi Cooper, who leads the group, said her members often draw from personal experiences when writing their stories. Each session starts with participants reading his or her stories aloud to the group, which ultimately leads to a healthy and lively discussion among the group. Some members have even been published in the THEMA Literary Journal, Brandi said.
“These writing assignments spur research and some of them get really creative. Each story is different,” she said. “It’s a great way for them to express themselves. They learn a lot from each other; it’s amazing the things they come up with.”
People write for different reasons. Some write because they feel compelled to express themselves and share their ideas with others. Others write because the act of writing, creating and recording their thoughts bring them pleasure. Whatever the reason for taking up the pen or putting fingers to keyboard, studies show that writing offers a number of physical and mental health benefits such as improved mood, faster healing from injury or illness, and overall better quality of life.
Writing also has a nostalgic value, especially for older adults who still remember a time when the concept of emails had not even been born yet and hand-written letters and pen pals were as common as the internet.
“In those days a stamp really got you places, I always had someone to write to,” group member Harriett Wetherell said. “I like writing, always have. I like meeting new people, but the truth of the matter is, I want to learn something too.”
For more information about the Writer’s Critique & Discussion Group, call 972-941-7250—or stop by Harrington Library and sit in on a session—just don’t forget your pen and your imagination!