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.
I am always looking for ways to clear the mind and allow myself a little space for inspiration to find its way to me. Strangely enough, one way to achieve that is within the circle of a generative writing group, shoulder to shoulder with my writing friends. The ritual of silence provides the quiet we need, the peace, for creativity to flourish. And then when the silent time, the writing time, is over, more often than not, we have a fine new piece of writing.
Writing in Community
It is a strange irony that participation in a writing group—a gathering of six to ten people—can be a terrific way to find the silence we need in our creative lives. In large part, it is due to the ceremony we embrace—we gather and share of our lives, a poem or two is read aloud, the exercise is presented—and then there is silence so that we may write. We have come to expect silence—for the sake of the individual, the group, and for the sake of the writing which will follow—and we look forward to it. As a culture, we are often wary of times of quiet, wanting to fill what we call “awkward” gaps in conversations, and surrounding ourselves in almost every aspect of our daily lives with background music or TV talk. But when silence is ritualized, as it is in the group setting, it is the most natural thing in the world.