Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.
Alone? Uninterrupted? Certainly. But that does not mean writing is entirely a solitary occupation. Nor does it mean that family, friends and society are natural enemies of a writer. In fact, Seven Bridge believes that community is essential to the writer.
Weekly creative writing groups offer opportunities to connect with other writers and offer encouragement. Monthly critique groups enable writers to honestly evaluate work and improve craft. Workshops provide education, insight and hands-on practice. Author readings introduce writers discussing their creative work and their experience. Open mics give writers a chance to share and offer encouragement.
A writer’s community benefits both the individual and the group, providing feedback, encouragement, a sense of accomplishment, and even the time to write. Knowledge is shared, experienced gained, new techniques explored. Writing is solitary work, but community feeds the writer - supporting, motivating and validating them in their work.
So, go ahead, be alone, uninterrupted and slightly savage when facing the blank page. But before, after, and in between, seek community and see how much better those solitary writing times can be.
Paula Castner is a mother of three and a co-founder of Seven Bridge Writers' Collaborative as well as a freelance writer, writing and baking workshop facilitator, and drama director. She receives emails at firstname.lastname@example.org.