Writing feels like a solitary endeavor and often it is. Hours and hours sitting behind a keyboard or putting the pen to the page, whisking yourself away to worlds your mind creates or, on those occasions, starring at the page waiting for the thoughts to come. Regardless, you are usually alone. It’s odd isn’t it? The act of creating a place for others to enjoy and be transported to but you, the author, being unable to share it until it’s done?
Some people out there may be able to share their work or write in the presence of others (excepting those beautiful pre-pandemic instances of sitting in a cafe; the creative juices flowing as the energy of the patrons conversing around you flows from mind to crafting fingers) but I am not one of them. I need isolation with either silence, classical music, or the sounds of storms. My concentration just falters too easily with distractions. This doesn’t get me to the finish line however. To really get myself to that place of pure writing zen, I need my community. Writing friends I workshop with and writing groups, these are the pieces that help me complete a truly beautiful puzzle.
This week started the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) 2021 Conference and Bookfair, a 5 day virtual event to attend seminars with other like-minded people pursuing and exploring their passion for writing. A place to bounce ideas, just like I do with my two close writer friends, and take in the advice of industry professionals to further my skills. Conversations and interactions like these help inspire me, lighting the fire of creativity within my soul when those moments of doubt cause it to dim.
This week has been incredible thus far, taking in the knowledge from agents to authors and publishers to professors, learning how to navigate the publishing world as well as the creative process. All this has reminded me that despite spending all of my time doing the actual work of writing by myself, it certainly doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. Community helps us grow and sustain us, aiding in developing our literary escape. It’s time to go create!