Writers write. It seems obvious, but there’s more to it than that. The writing part is solitary, sometimes down-right lonely. Non-writers don’t always understand the agony of searching for the right word, the self-questioning fear of, “What am I writing? And who will ever read it?”
Writers write, but we also need to read and share, discuss and brainstorm, and critique.
That’s what I did this past weekend. For two days, I was inspired by nineteen other writers. Individuals with fascinating stories to tell - stories of their pasts and their presents. Stories of their experiences, their families, their histories.
We wrote, of course. We asked ourselves the difficult questions - questions about titles, and themes, and potential readership. We set goals for ourselves.
And then we shared. We shared the stories that form in our hearts and souls.
When it seems that our world is on fast-forward, text-messaging and twittering, getting to the nitty-gritty of a message, this class proves that humans have an insatiable need to connect. The short messages we send back and forth aren’t enough. We need to hear each other’s stories, to see the homes we grew up in, the schools we attended, the dinners we ate with our families, the hospital rooms we’ve been confined to.
We all have stories. Rich, true stories we cultivate within and then are brave enough to share aloud. We wait for the compliments and the criticisms. And we need both. It’s the compliments that keep us going; it’s the criticisms that make us better.
Then we go back. And write some more.