creative writing community, craft and inspiration
We’ve reached the end of another summer session, which means Michelle, I and all our wonderful teachers finally get a few weeks’ to relax and just WRITE! Yet I cannot help but feel a little melancholy to see you go, and also just a little bit proud.
Writers at The Writers Circle come from all walks of life, all experiences, all classes and races, and definitely all ages. We’ve got, between us, at least an eight-decade spread, with talent, energy and vision at every stage of development and maturity.
I am proud to have created a place that has brought together so many wonderful people. Prouder still that we’ve gathered around us such wonderful teachers and mentors: Michelle, Jenny, Allie, Tara, Sondra, Amanda, and all the writers who’ve shared their gifts to our students. Without you, it would just be me and my once-a-week Thursday night workshop. I do miss the simplicity of those old days, but that was a simple flowering plant in a pot. What’s grown since then is a garden.
Every day when I join you around the writing table (or sitting on the floor, if you’re young!), I feel your energy and feed off of it, watching as you work to express yourselves on paper or on screen. I love to see when the light of understanding flashes on or, as one of my “For Boys Only” students said in class this week, “Oh, I feel my creative juices flowing!” The work that once was sketchy, week after week becomes stronger, more alive, and sometimes, eventually, polished and ready to send into the world.
I am proud of our young people, like Zoe*, one of my long-time Young Storymakers, who has just started her own blog: Zoe loves to write; like April, Siahra and Isabelle who started their novels when their ages barely amounted to double-digits and yet they persist month after month, year after year; like Abbie, our youngest intern, a hard worker and talented young writer, and Nick who’s twisted worldview and philosophical bent will surely make everyone gasp if he’ll ever finish something. (TYPE THAT STORY UP!)
And I’m proud of our adults who come to the Circle to reignite their creative spark or to express some of the life experiences that have transformed them. Many of you are crafting stories that deserve to be published. Whether the world ever takes notice is beyond the reach of my rather cloudy and insufficient crystal ball. But your efforts and craft do not go unnoticed. In fact, every day when you share in our workshops, you make an indelible impression on us all.
I hear the voices of your characters and see your scenes in my head often long after we’ve said goodbye for the day or the session. Whether it is Fern and the sweater, or Moses contemplating his place in the world, or Shop and Alex driving home from PA, or Ettekamba and Lady Tabac, Spruce or Jemma or Seton, or the young girl with Broadway stars in her eyes — they have all influenced me and each of us who have shared in your creations. The ripple you’ve created may stay small or grow large, but there is a ripple, and its effect is moving.
Writers must do their work alone, but loneliness is a choice, not an inherent condition of the writer’s life. At The Writers Circle, we’re growing a real, flesh-and-blood community of fellow writers to cheer you on, to offer a shoulder on those days when you want to burn your pages, and a warm pair of arms to hug you when you succeed.
It was never my intention to run a business. I simply wanted, in the beginning, to find a circle of friends – fellow writers who could share the struggle and joys of their creativity and self-expression. What it has become is a little breathtaking, and we’re not finished yet. Though sometimes I gripe about how much time it takes away from my own writing, I do believe it’s worth the sacrifice, because every day I know that The Writers Circle is making a difference in our community.
* We never publish kids’ last names online for safety reasons, but I hope you all know whom I’m talking about. And to anybody out I left out, please don’t feel hurt. We love and appreciate you all!