I mentioned a little while back that I've been attending a writing workshop led by Jane Resh Thomas and it's hard to believe that I've been going for nearly a year now. Being a part of this group (Jane runs several workshops - I attend the Muskrats group) has reminded me of the importance of community as a writer. Jane read a little last night from An Ill Nature by Joy Williams who writes about how we can never quite achieve the full potential of a story. As in Plato's cave we at best set down a shadow of the Idea. I feel this all the time in my own writing and it is so, so easy to forget I'm not the only one to struggle with this.
Over the past year I have come to know the members of my group better, both who they are and in their writing. I am nearing completion of the fourth draft of Carrot and while there is still much work to be done when I look back I see how far this story has already come. And it would not be where it is without the feedback, the challenges, and the encouragement this group has provided. I learn as much listening as I do reading. Such beautiful stories are in the works and I always look forward to hearing more from them.
Jane also shared last night an entry she had written for the Storyteller's Inkpot blog. I was struck immediately by the title - "We are all afraid" - and reminded again that I'm not the only writer to still feel this way after years of writing. How important it is to have such a safe place to share our writing, to be encouraged, and to know we're not alone. I'm so grateful for the opportunity - for all I have learned, for all I continue to learn.
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