I've come to realize that in anything I do, the secret is in finding my people.
We've been meeting since October, in a small classroom with rolling desks and checkered carpet squares. The room has windows from wall to wall on two sides, adding sunlight to our work and allowing a space for daydreaming. At our first meeting, the room was filled with apprehension as we timidly shared our work at the end of our time together. During our time that night, we each talked about our reasons for joining the class and the plan we had for our time.
We've been meeting for many months and each of us have grown in our writing. "What have you learned about yourself as a writer?" I posed as we started our quick write at the beginning of our meeting. Pens went to paper, iPads were poised, and computer keyboards began clicking. While we used to pause in these times, everyone started writing and were still writing when the time was up. As usual, the conversation did not disappoint. "I find I go to the same topics over and over again," one participant confided. We discussed the ways we too often feel pulled to familiar topics.
"I find it is easiest to write the things closest to my heart," another layered into the conversation.
We all started this journey in different places, and we each were reflecting on new discoveries we've made about the challenge - and joy - of finding our voice. "It's been the partnerships that have helped me," added another group member. "I've learned so much from listening to everyone and hearing their writing."
Ideas continued to popcorn around the table. It's always hard to end these conversations, but we try hard to value the time to write and leave enough time for everyone to get a few thoughts down on paper.
As someone who writes, I'm always trying to grow my habit, improve my craft, find my voice, but it is moments like these, surrounded by others who know the struggle and the celebration that I feel most at home. My cup of coffee is now gone and I'm nearing the end of this piece. As I pause I hear the gentle scratch of the pen beside me and know that everyone is finding their way on the page right now. I look forward to hearing what everyone has written today, and what I will learn from their conversation. These nights have been a gift. I've pushed myself to get back in the habit and take new steps thanks to this group.
As in anything in this life, if you want to move forward, find your tribe.
For the sixth year, I will be joining the Slice of Life Challenge with the community of Two Writing Teachers. I will be trying to put my fingers to the keyboard every day for the 31 days of March. Stop by today's link up at Two Writing Teachers to read other posts.