Been a quiet fall so far. I’ve been itching for chats with our writing group but there aren’t many of us at the moment. In lieu of meetings I’ve been sampling writing podcasts and reading every article on writing that crosses my path. It’s not the same, but I’m learning a lot.
The internet is the best thing to ever happen to writers. When we formed this group last October, Twitter had for years been my substitute for a writing group. I’d followed a few writers so I’d know when they published new books or stories, and suddenly my feed was full of writing talk—celebrating their progress, broadcasting their frustrations, promoting each other’s work, and sharing advice and motivation. There I found permission to write, to not write, to hate writing, to love it, to experiment with forms and styles, and to write what I want to read instead of to please an audience. I’m a bit of a loner, so being a spectator to a writing community works for me, most of the time. I can still identify with what everyone’s talking about and learn and take solace from their conversations. It’s been essential to my education and progress as a writer.
But it’s our writing group here in Johnstown that showed me what was missing, what I needed in order to thrive as a writer. The weekly meetings, the writing challenges, the conversations on craft, the work we shared, the brainstorming, even (or perhaps especially) the whining—getting to take part in the symbiosis of a writing community really energized me and encouraged me to push my limits. I’ve written so much this past year, and so much that I’m proud of, and for that I’m grateful.
So, hello again, writers. We usually start our meetings by sharing what progress we’ve made lately—be it in writing, in research, or in contemplating the work ahead of us. I’ll go first.
I dreamed a story! Sort of. My dreams tend to be pretty boring, no creative possibility whatsoever, but the other day I woke up and scribbled down as many images as I could before it all faded. I ended up with a whole page and there’s definitely a story to them. Possibly a very long one, which I resent. My novel’s been stalled out and waiting patiently all year for me to get over an accidental novella, a much-revised short story, and a self-indulgent semi-found poetry project. Still, I’m excited to embark on something new—I’ve written several pages already and I really like them—and in that excitement I can even feel the novel’s wheels beginning to turn a little.
How about you? Working on something new? Something old? Have any fun tidbits from your research you’d like to share, or a breakthrough you’d like to celebrate? Chime in down in the comments!