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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:
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


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.