Friday, November 2, 2012

Writers in Community

By Maggie
There’s something about getting away from day to day tasks that helps a person take a deep breath and see life through a clear, new lens. The NCW Writing Retreat October 26-28 did just that for me. I feel refreshed and realistic, ready to give writing my all yet again. Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is not only beautiful and relaxing, but inspiring and invigorating, as well. This was my fourth NCW retreat there, and I love each trip more than the last. My new novel is taking shape now. While focusing on my writing without distractions, I discovered who my characters are, found the direction of my plot, and built the foundation for their world. I found something I’d lost, too: a sense of community with other writers.

Every writer knows that the very nature of our occupation often sentences us to solitary confinement. I don’t have a problem being alone and enjoy it for the most part. I need to think my own thoughts, work my way through problems- fictional and real life- and do all this at my own pace. But, as important to me as anything else, I remembered during this weekend retreat how very important spending time with other writers is to me.

What’s important for me to remember is that no matter what problem I have with my writing, another writer knows how I feel, has been there themselves, or can steer me in the direction of the answer. I know writers on every level from the newbie to the highly acclaimed, and I’ve learned from every one of them. I benefitted from being in a critique group for three years before we went our own ways, and maybe it’s time to be think about being part of a group again. I do know one thing, though, and that’s how valuable being in a community of other writers truly is.

How about you? Are you part of a community of writers?


Jan Cline said...

I so agree with you. I host writer's retreats during the year and it's always such a blessing. We need each other, as we tend to isolate ourselves and lose perspective on the big picture of being a writer.
So glad you had a great time.
Jan Cline

Lynn said...

I've been a part of a variety of writing groups -- online and in person -- and each is different. Like Maggie, I learn something new from each participant. It always seems to be exactly what I need when I need it, even if sometimes I'm not all that anxious to hear it!

NCW does an excellent job of providing members with ways to get together. I take advantage of only a few, but they are an important part of my writing life.

Kerrie said...


I agree that a writing community is a must have for any writer. I am so lucky to have you as a part of mine. :-)

Kerrie said...


I agree that a writing community is a must have for any writer. I am so lucky to have you as a part of mine. :-)

Maggie said...

Right back at ya, Kerrie;)

Dean K Miller said...

Maggie: it was great to share my first retreat with you and the other great writers there.

The solitude is so good for writing and knowing all that energy from everyone else is buzzing around seems to help, too.

I'll see you there next year!

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