Sunday, December 2, 2007

My Writing Group


Writing can be a lonely and intimately personal process. I often surround myself with strangers at cafes, libraries, and public spaces to avoid this sense of isolation. During the embryonic stages of the first draft, I am plagued with questions like “What am I writing?” or “Why am I writing?” These questions can be useful in a dialogue of sorts but they tend to get lodged into the existential abyss of writer’s block. Once I am beyond the first draft, my body and mind eases itself into the solitary work of editing and revising. Later, I get stuck again after looking at the same essay for the 20th time and need a pair of eyes and ears that are not my own. That is when you hope to find a writer or a writing group that can give you insight, inspiration, and shred your work into lean articulate pieces. I know; it is a lot to expect.



I have found a wonderful surprise in my writing group. We share our writing and receive honest to goodness, sharp and useful feedback. Since we formed, we have been taking turns celebrating our successes and commiserating our rejections. Beyond the group as a whole, I have discovered many jewel like moments with each member of the group: conversations about long distance love while sitting in the sun, the sweetest cottage and greatest neighbor who gives me encouragement on long walks, a playwright who shares my passion for dance and mothering a son, and a colorful spirit who shares amazing writing advice and provides another perspective regarding the concept of living with one’s mother.


Our writing group just celebrated Rachel’s birthday at Bacaro Happy Hour, and we found some warm hugs within the very cold evening. Rebekah was there briefly before she had to attend another event, so she is not photographed yet. As we drank and nibbled and laughed, I thought this is the opposite of feeling lonely as a writer. Rachel with her beautiful rosy cheeks, maybe from the tequila shot, said that she loved how writing allows us to take our experiences especially the darker ones and transform them into writing material. It is true. No matter what we experience, grow or regress from, we find fodder for our art. I remember one time smashing commitment jade rings into a fine almost white powder on the sidewalk. It felt so final, so completely necessary to destroy what they stood for. I remember a side thought of being surprised that jade could turn into powder. Then adding a mental note: add this image to pool of ideas for a future story.

Right now, in this morning, with my shades drawn and having only stepped out once to walk my dog, I feel so grateful for the memories that I created with this group and to find the words to record and share them.

1 comment:

Tidewaterbound said...

This is from your NanoWrimo Municipal Liaison trying to reach you about setting your Home Region to Maryland, you did not respond the the PM I sent you on the NanoWrimo site.
Please, please, PLEASE take a moment and do this now.

It's an easy, simple step, please affiliate your HOME REGION as Maryland.

It's easy to do, and what it does is make every word you write count for Maryland stats. While you may not think this is important, it really is. We want recognition for our work, our combined efforts. I won't tell you about last year, but suffice it to say because many didn't know, we came "so close" but no cigar, simply because the "home region" wasn't designated by so MANY!

So take a sec and do this:

On the top link bar notice the "My NanoWriMo" -- click it.

In your profile on the left you'll see another link -- "Regions" -- click it.

It will give you tabs -- "Regions" "My Regions" and finally on the right "Home Region"

Click HOME REGION

Select United States-Maryland

Beneath it...click the bar that says SAVE HOME REGION

Bingo, you are done.

You will have my undying thanks for affliliating as every word counts, especially here in Maryland.

--- it was only because many in Maryland didn't take that one simple step that the Seattle "Ducks" smirked at us over the last two years after we won overall word count in 2005, which was a BIG DEAL. Come on, help me, help us bring that title back where it belongs to a small, but MIGHTY state, HOME to Maryland.

Come on, be proud, be a Mighty BLUE CRAB

Thanks in advance!

Carol (Tidewaterbound)