Saturday, September 18, 2010

Personal Writing: A Community of Writers
During the past few weeks I have felt more and more akin to one of my favorite characters, Alice, as I, too, have found myself lost in a rabbit-hole of sorts. My blog has suffered, my soul needs "fed" and my notebook is calling me. And that is why, today, I made a point to scupt out some of that "valuable" time to meet up with a community of writers (in this case, teacher-writers).

Regardless of our professions or trade, being among a community of writers is an essential part of a writing life. This particular group that I met with today are all past participants in the Piasa Bluffs Writing Project (a subsidery of the National Writing Project). We're all teachers of one level of students or another, and we have all experienced the joys and trials of teaching writing as well as experienced the value of our own personal writing.

Unlike my Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) critique group, this NWP group uses the majority of time together to sit quietly and write to reflect. Where the SCBWI group provides guiding and critical advice while presenting new personal challenges, the NWP group gives me a chance to delve into my "metaconsciousness" and find out what really makes me tick (or in the more recent case, what causes my "tick" to become stuck) as a teacher of writing and a writer.

Both groups are vital to my growth. Both groups are places, spaces, and "aces" that provide support and feedback for my writing soul. I encourage those who do not have one of these supports to find a group. Whether it's a partner in crime that will sit alongside while you write and lend an ear to listen, or a large group that serves as your sounding board that you can bounce those gems of your writing out upon, find one. I know that I would be at a loss without my writing groups.

Thanks SCBWI and PBWP partners!

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