a list of tips and tricks I had learned in past years that might help me when things got tricky. This year I found the rhythm of the process to be essential. My process went something like this: find a possible slice, spin it in my head (sometimes this was a voice recording and sometimes a quick jot), write it early in the morning, let it sit and gel. The next morning I would edit, revise, and hit the publish button. I was really writing two posts a day: one "final" copy and one draft.
While the routine was certainly essential, it was the community that made all of the difference. Here's why:
The community commitment kept me writing each day. I knew this was a community that would write each day so I felt I also had to write each day not doing so would have let the community down. I suppose it's like having an exercise buddy or an accountability partner, it just always seemed like the right thing to do.
The community opened my eyes to new possibility. In reading the work of other writers, I discovered new crafting techniques and could envision new possibilities. Sometimes the writing of others served as a mentor text. Other times, I discovered new ways with words. At times, I really was made aware of the power of the clarity of message. Each stop to read the work of another writer taught me something.
The community helped me to find my voice. Putting writing out into the world each day is a bit of a stretch. As community members stopped by to comment, I learned what worked for my audience. Their comments helped me to see the parts of my writing where I had captured their attention. Starting to learn what works for an audience, in combination with daily writing, helped me to find my comfort zone in writing.
The community cheered me on. The effort made by the community really helped me to continue to write. A few years ago, I wrote about the types of comments people leave on a blog. Just hearing that people often shared in my experience in some way, affirmed my point, or noted a part of the writing that spoke to them, kept me going.
The community connected me beyond my daily world. Having a writing community that connected beyond my daily world broadened my experience. It amplified the possibility in writing and discovering the power of the message.
Being a part of a writing community helped me to grow as a writer but, most importantly, it kept me in the chair each day. It showed me the power of possibility and connected me with other writers who understand the struggle and the small victories. Each year we grow and nurture our writing community so that across the year we can learn from another. Each day of our workshop, we carefully stitch together new conversations that connect and lift our writers. We find ways to help our writers reach out into the world to learn from other writers.
If you want to think more about how writers support one another, check out this video lesson from Ruth Ayres.
- Growing Our Writing Communities: Writing Partners Cheer & Challenge (video modeled lesson)
Lessons from Writing (other lessons from #sol18)
- Lessons from Writing: That Piece Isn't There Yet #sol18 week 3
- Lessons from Writing: 5 Questions to Help Young Writers Find Their Own Process #sol18 week 2
- Learning from Writing: You Should Write About That #sol18 Week 1