Writing is often a solitary pursuit. Thus it is with strange irony that, in order to make a living, writers submit our innermost ponderings to public scrutiny. It might seem to compromise something within, but upon deeper reflection, we may discover this necessarily draws us out of our shells and into the world at large. We are, after all, crafting for the very community some of us eschew.
Who am I writing for, anyway? I never was a diarist, per se, rather I have filled notebooks with poetry, using metaphor to hide behind when I had powerful emotions I didn’t feel safe enough to share in any other way. For those of us who lack confidence or do not feel adequate or articulate in speech, the written word provides a powerful medium for the currents of feeling that flow, fluid-like, through our fingers and onto the page. Thus I guess I write mostly for myself. That I share these musings with others speaks to a sort of universal desire to belong and be accepted into a greater human community.
One of the most intimate experiences I have participated in as a writer is being invited into the safety of a clutch of like-minded souls with common purpose. To write and share and improve along with other talented wordsmiths is not something I gravitate toward naturally; in fact, I have only experienced its magic twice in my life. Before the most recent encounter, I had almost given up entirely.
I’d never considered myself a group person, and tended to outrightly reject the power plays and dramas that many gatherings engender. But lately I’ve been fortunate to fall into the company of a group of dynamic and gifted people who possess intelligence, heart, and a desire for understanding and support, one to another. And as long as it lasts, I will bask in the afterglow of these rare and precious encounters. Perseverence indeed has its rewards.