writing in community

the unexpected beginning of a writers’ group

I didn’t expect to hit it off quite so well with Mr. Wood and Mr. Fisher. I didn’t want to be at the party where I met them, but the quirky hostess is a dear friend and I did want to meet more of her people. Somehow Mr. Fisher heard I was a poet, and somehow Mr. Wood volunteered his home as a meeting place, and somehow we found ourselves forming a poetry-reading group that met weekly for almost a year.

writing in community is powerful

If it weren’t for Mr. Fisher and Mr. Wood, I doubt I would be writing so much today. They actually care whether I write or not. Even though we don’t meet regularly anymore, we still motivate and encourage each other to write well and to write more. Mr. Wood, in fact, was the one who convinced me to enter Newark Publishing’s writers contest.

{today’s exercise}

Connect with another writer, preferably in person. If someone comes to mind, contact them right now and see if you can get together. If you can’t think of anyone who writes, think of someone who reads. Meet for coffee or tea or go to the park. Read a little, write a little, and find inspiration in community.

{my process and my poem}

Mr. Wood gave me the first few lines of this poem and challenged me to write the rest.

Is that what you kids are calling it nowadays?
No, no, I’m seeking inspiration.
Well you haven’t looked away from your screen in about an hour so you must not be seeking, really.
I’m not seeking it out, I’m seeking it in my mind.
Your mind is very small.
What’s the supposed to mean?
You have to broaden your perspectives if you want to find inspiration.
Alright. I’ll close the laptop and go.
Where you going?
To find some inspiration.
You can’t find any here?
You just told me to go seek it out.
No I didn’t. I only said to seek it out. Don’t have to go anywhere to do that.
You’re talking in circles.
I’ve been around…it wasn’t a circle, though, ‘cause I didn’t end up in the same place.
So I’ve gotta live more life before I’ll find inspiration?
No, don’t wait till you think you’ve got it.
With all due respect, sir, you’re still not making sense.
Listen, I’ve given you all the inspiration you need. Now take it and do something with it.