It didn’t take long for us to learn that each of us was interested in writing. Pat and Christa wanted to write their personal memoirs while Barb was just finishing up a four-year research project about her ancestors’ lives in Imperial Russia. Writing a book about it had been the unavoidable outcome. Pat, who had done editorial work in her career, offered to review Barb’s first draft, making suggestions and recommendations for the final product. Before long, she had done just that, and Barb’s book was self-published in 2015. It had been for her, both emotionally and physically, an exhausting labour of love.
The three of us began to talk seriously about our collective desire to write, to inform future generations who we were and what our lives had been like. Each of us regretted having little of that handed down from our parents and grandparents. We wanted our grandchildren and great grandchildren to know us, but did not really know how to start. We all shared doubts and fears related to writing. Did we have the skills to write? Who would be interested in anything we had to say? How would we even get started, and how best to support each other if and when we decided to give it a try?
Our group started out being for encouragement and for fun. But before it solidified, we tried other approaches, such as joining a group at the library. Hmmm…on the one hand, the characters attending this group were often hysterically funny, but everyone had very different reasons for attending. The group members came from disparate walks of life, whereas we had enough similarities of background and purpose to meaningfully support each other. We decided we could get farther along on our own. One afternoon, quite by accident, we decided to go out for margaritas and discuss our writing dreams and challenges. We had so much fun that we decided to go out for margaritas once a month to check in with our writing progress. We found that when we got together over margaritas, we three compadres had more than enough to say to keep the conversation going. More importantly, our small number afforded us the pleasure of being able to listen and hear what was said. So we called ourselves the Margarita Writers Group.