When a community of writers comes together, it is a mosaic of beautiful interlocking and symmetrical pieces. When writers share their work, it is a learning experience. Suddenly, you are both teacher and student.
Writing is a way to make sense of things. "It is nourishing to my soul," one writer said at our June read-around. "I want to tell my story."
Often, people think writing is merely a pastime, a superfluous hobby. It's cheaper than therapy, they laugh. They don't get it. Stories are the ultimate human connection.
Even when you are not writing, you need to be thinking about writing. What was missing in that piece, you wonder as you walk a trail? What should I title it, you ask as you lie awake in bed at night? Why is this so hard . . . such painstaking work, also comes to mind? It takes practice, just like mastering any talent. It is not a "quick finish."
Sometimes, you just follow the pen. Writing does what it does. "Writing is a gift," one woman said at yesterday's read-around.
As Canadian novelist, Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale puts it: "Writing, like sewing, takes one thing and makes it into another. Writing, like sewing, was always for someone, even if that someone was yourself in the future. Writing was a way of sending your voice to someone you might never meet."
Storytellers come to the Women's Writing Circle. We light the candle, talk about the joys and challenges of writing and then begin the read-around. You hope . . . maybe, just maybe, I waded through the morass, the jumble of my thoughts and emotions well enough to craft a story that resonates. You remember that summer when either tragedy or elation came your way. You needed to make sense of it. Maybe you will go back and rework it when there is greater distance. All you really know, deep inside of you, is that you needed to let it go . . . you needed to tell the story.