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Community: One Key to Continued Creativity

I’ve been reading a lot, lately, about the various aspects of our lives that contribute to our creativity and our continued dedication to writing.

Two books that have really been an inspiration to me in this area are The Accidental Creative, by Todd Henry and The Productive Writer, by Sage Cohen.

One of the things that has been on my mind a lot, lately, is the idea that as writers we have to find a balance for a very persistent dichotomy: we create in isolation, but we draw creativity from community.

Since moving to Florida, my creative community has been limited to my online friends and my low-residency MFA classmates (which, ultimately, is 90% online). I’ve met a few writers in the area, but even though we’ve said, “We should get together and have coffee,” when I attempt to reconnect, the other writer is often busy or otherwise unavailable. (It could be, they just don’t like me. At some point, I may have to accept that conclusion.)

In the last few weeks, I’ve made two efforts to do even MORE socializing.

1. Usually, when we exchange stories in the MFA program, we send our responses and critiques back out via email, and that’s about it. Now, don’t get me wrong. These critiques and responses are very valuable to me; I’ve been very happy with the quality, depth, and even-handed critiques my fellow Queens University MFA students have given, and the faculty has been awesome, as well. But, we don’t spend any time in between talking about our work in more general terms. So, this semester, I’ve invited my fellow writers to join me in a “virtual classroom” with audio and video capabilities, and we can chat a bit. Last night was our first try, and I hope the first of several. (I’m also going to be hosting some other writer-centered meet-ups. Be sure to let me know if you are interested.)

2. I’m again on the lookout for other writers here in the Bradenton/Sarasota area, and I’m continuing to reach out to them. Yesterday I had a long discussion about art and life with my friend Matt. Today, I’m meeting a fellow writer for coffee.

Continuity of creativity is something that interests me, and I’m sure I’ll talk about it more in the coming weeks and months.

Before I sign off for the week, I need to say:

Thank you…

This has been another great week here on my blog. I had some great traffic thanks to the post featuring Kelly McGovern’s photo, and my post about being thankful (and prepared.) My blog also passed 10,000 hits this week, which was a nice milestone. Slowly and surely, we keep moving forward, and I want to thank all of you who read on a regular basis, and those who stop in from time to time. I appreciate you being here!

Thanks so much. Have a great weekend.

And, Happy Writing!!

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