Posted on April 3, 2012
I’ve been thinking a lot about community and communion with fellow writers lately. It’s made me reflect on what communities already exist for me. I find that I have a lot of little pockets of friends for different needs. For school and scholarly thoughts, I have a set group. For my geekery and sundry (a term I stole from Felicia Day’s new youtube channel Geek & Sundry), I have another set of friends that extends to online cohorts as well. I’m sure we could all come up with the different groups in which we belong.
When I first started thinking about writing seriously, I talked to all of my friends. While everyone has been supportive, I realized that I needed to find a group of friends who are actively trying to write. Allowing yourself to be in that creative space it takes to be a writer is a different world (well, it is for me). What is more interesting is that writing and writers seem to cross over all community boundaries.
Anyone can be a writer, and I’m finding that some of my friends that belonged to other groups for me actually are writers. I’m delighted to find out that one is a poet, one wants to write children’s books, and one has already finished a novel. What a wonderful surprise to find how writing can bring many people from different interests together.
Another way I’m discovering how writing can be a great equalizer is finding former students who actively write. Please indulge my bragging on one in particular. He was one of my first students at my first full-time teaching job. As a journalism student, he was in my class for three years. I got to watch as his skills improved greatly to the point where he became the editor. When I switched from journalism class to yearbook, I poached him and brought him in to help.
Today, he’s doing what he wants in life, and that just makes me so happy and proud. He’s been reading my blog, and considering whether or not to start his own. I encouraged him to write one. Today, I found the announcement that he started his own blog, and got to read his first offering (you can read it here at This Is Happening). Did I say I was proud? But what’s an even better discovery is the realization that he really is no longer a student of mine. He is now a peer not because he’s an adult now but because we’re both writers.
Once again, exploring the possibilities of a writing community, what it means, and who is part of it amazes and captivates me. I hope it continues to grow, and I hope you are finding inspiration and support from your communities.