Finding a writing community

I have some writing "friends" I never would have imagined having two short years ago. Granted, it's on Facebook only, but the virtual support I have has grown by leaps and bounds.  I will not overstate these friendships, but I do leave quick questions, comments, or observations and the writing people I have befriended respond in a kind, caring, compassionate way. Every time. Every single one of them.

I am learning simply by inhaling what they say and share. The peaks I have gotten into their writing world have left me feeling 1). Not quite so alone 2). Comforted in the fact that writing is as necessary as breathing if you are, indeed, a writer and 
3). There is no one way to write.  

It has been freeing to learn so much from people I truly admire.  And when I get down by my lack of progress or intimidated by the wall I put up entirely by myself,  I think of Michael Perry who simply puts his butt in the chair (and now on the walking office treadmill) every day and DOES the work, or Lidia Yukavitch who says that she writes in bursts but not every day and it's ok.  Or of Diana Joseph who is mothering a toddler and feels thrilled when her often hilarious and dead-on posts about motherhood are her major writing accomplishment for the day. 

I am making progress in my writing life, but it's more in my head than on the page.

It's no secret that my head has always given me more problems than anything else
in life.  I have stopped or thwarted or talked myself out of more things than I can count. It is only when I let go and stop thinking so much that I take risks.

That is what propelled me to try to get a spot in this class. I sent some writing in and they accepted me. It wasn't a competition. I'm sure they just wanted to see if I could string some sentences together, and while it's tempting to say it's no big deal, it is a huge deal to me. Every single writing teacher is fabulous. I will be working with Cheryl Strayed and learning so about the art of memoir. She started as an essay writer, which is my favorite genre so I feel hope for myself.

I also feel extremely scared.

But fear is good when it's causing you to stretch and grow and push yourself. Otherwise, what's the point?

It's a long way off, this class. Until then, I am soaking up the words of my mentors and reaching for the keyboard in frustration, anxiety, and joy all at once. 

It turns out that everyone I admire feels just like I do....so at least I am in good company.


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