Each new group I’ve joined and every class I’ve taught or taken undergoes a kind of alchemy as the previously unconnected members interact and form a new unity. GOLD!
I relish the alone time I have to create but I do need others, and this One Potato Ten group is an important source of community for me. My favorite part of our recent five-day retreat was the Saturday afternoon workshop session. Each of us read a work-in-progress or solicited help brainstorming ideas for a new project. Such original voices and a wide array of ideas from my fellow writers! I was further amazed by the sensitivity and creativity of all the supporting listeners.
Here are some of the reasons I need community as a writer:
Accountability: I am motivated knowing that I will be regularly reading for a writers group or posting on the blog. I don’t want to let others down.
Listeners: I need to hear how my work sounds as I read aloud or “e-hear” as I submit my posts to the blog
Continuity: In my writers group we know the history and development of each other’s work. The long virtual relationship for One Potato Ten made our first group meeting feel like a reunion. We have been invested in one another for four years.
Honest criticism: I want to get better at writing; I want to sharpen and expand my ideas. A writing community can analyze “the work” and offer ways to improve it.
Exchange of info about the industry: We shared lots of insider tips—agents, advances, contracts, and more!
Multiple perspectives: We each bring something different to the table. Vive la différence! We benefit from shared knowledge and experience. Also, seeing something from different vantage points can help me clarify my own POV.
Yield: Since joining writers groups and the blog I have published more work. Now have the support I need.