Writing in Community is a book of inspiration and encouragement for writers who want to reach deep within themselves and write to their fullest potential. There is magic in a successful writing group. This book helps writers tap into that magic, and with gentle wisdom and humor, experience unprecedented breakthroughs in creativity.
Lucy Adkins grew up in rural Nebraska, attended country schools, the University of Nebraska and received her degree from Auburn University in Alabama. Her poetry has been published in various journals and magazines which include Rhino, Red Wheelbarrow, Northeast, South Dakota Review, Concho River Review, and several anthologies including Times of Sorrow/Times of Grace, Women Write Resistance,Crazy Woman Creek, and the Poets Against the War anthology. Her chapbook, One Life Shining: Addie Finch, Farmwife, was published in 2007 by Pudding House Press, and her non-fiction book, Writing in Community: Say Goodbye to Writer's Block and Transform Your Life, co-written with Becky Breed, was published by WriteLife in 2013. She also co-writes a blog of encouragement and inspiration for writers which can be found at www.writeincommunity.com.
Like many writers, after an early start in writing, I "came back" after a long time away. But it wasn't easy getting started again. Writing can be lonely, and facing the blank page frustrating. And then there is the "Internal Critic"
that berates your best efforts.
It was only when I found a writing group, in particular a "generative" writing group (in which new work is generated each time the group meets) that I found peers, and with their help, found a way forward.
Writing in Community
The writing life is stimulating and soul-satisfying; it is full of delightful surprises; but much as we extol its wonders, it is not always easy. There are times when the words just don’t come. We sit at our desks or kitchen tables or easy chairs with pen in hand and wait; but it seems the muse is absent today, we have nothing to say. The clock ticks. We sigh and get up to get a cup of coffee, come back and try again. Still no dice. Or, maybe we take a deep breath and manage to eke out a few lines, then immediately scratch them out again. This is terrible, we say, and we think up all kinds of words to berate ourselves: what we write is drivel, trash, mere pulp, words that limp across the page, fall down in the margins and die. Oh, we can be very creative in the art of self-condemnation. We listen too deeply to the little voice of doubt inside. Writer Natalie Goldberg calls this the Internal Censor, continuously whispering that we are not good enough. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, thinks of it as a “serpent, slithering around your creative Eden, hissing vile things to keep you off guard.” However we see this internal critic—as a nasty little person providing a steady stream of invective, or a loathsome snake in the grass—we must do everything we can to lessen its power.