The Writers’ Community

Community is isn’t always what we think it is. The first definition that comes to mind is usually a neighbourhood – people who have little in common except that they happen to live on the same street. In the church we refer to the Christian community where there is a faith-based kinship.  But what is the writers’ community that bloggers so often mention and how is it exhibited?

 

When I attend a writers’ conference I return home inspired and encouraged by having been in the company of fellow writers and professionals in the publishing world. It’s not just because the attendees all share an interest in writing although, of course, we do. There is an unexplainable “something” – a bond born of being immersed in the company of others who understand both the fulfillment and despair of the writing life, who “get” what I do and why.

 

One indisputable value of the writers’ community is that kind of networking – a mingling of the like-minded, sometimes with a marketing purpose, sometimes purely for pleasure.

 

IMG_1697This past week kicked off with just such an opportunity when fifteen members of the Federation of BC Writers Fraser Valley Region gathered on Sunday in the Yorkshire Tea Shoppe’s outdoor gazebo in Fort Langley, BC for lunch and some interaction, discussion and readings.  The event was arranged by the new Fed representative for the Valley, Ben Nuttall-Smith. Fed president Sylvia Taylor also attended. Maybe nothing earth-shattering was accomplished during the afternoon, but just getting a chance to identify fellow writers in our area was a terrific benefit. (And lunch was pretty tasty, too.)

 

Sometimes we need this kind of community support to survive the uncertainties and insecurities that beset us as we pursue our writing obsession. Thanks, Ben! I look forward to further such get-togethers.

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9 thoughts on “The Writers’ Community

  1. Thanks Carol for the fantastic write-up. Enjoy the remainder of the summer. Cheers, Ben.

  2. BJ says:

    It’s awesome to participate in the community of like minded people, isn’t it? I’m a big fan of the Mount Hermon conference. Lunch every once in a while would be nice though… I miss the more frequent interaction.

  3. Thanks, Ben… and enjoy your trip to Italy! Nothing I’ll be doing will top that. 🙂

    BJ, I’ve never been to the Mount Hermon Conference, although I’ve been to several Surrey Conferences. Unfortunately that one’s expensive — well worth it, but beyond my ability to attend annually so I work at going every second year. So yes, the more frequent interaction of smaller gatherings such as we had last Sunday are really welcome. In lieu of them the blogging community offers good support but “in person” is always nicer.

  4. I am a Doc, a bluegrass musician, and a writer. To me in both the music and writing community is the somewhat small group of people who understand what the world at large seems puzzed by.

    drtombibey.wordpress.com

  5. Tricia says:

    I’ve only been to one conference, but it was the best. I loved it more than I thought I would. I’m a bit of a recluse and it took a lot of internal persuasion to get me to attend. I knew no one and had no buddy to room with to cut costs. It was like the first day of school, only here I had over fifteen new friends by lunchtime. Most writers did come with a friend, but all were open and welcoming to me. I just wish more writing events would come my way.

    • Hi Tricia. I can relate to the “recluse” bit… I’m definitely an introvert! I don’t think I could have done the conference scene on my own. I’ve gone either with my best friend or my oldest daughter, both of whom are writers, so we had each other for moral support.

  6. Laura Best says:

    “There is an unexplainable “something” – a bond born of being immersed in the company of others who understand both the fulfillment and despair of the writing life, who “get” what I do and why.”–this is so true. It is difficult for those who don’t write to fully understand what a writer’s life is all about…I’m on Canada’s east coast and have never been to a writing conference or anything of the like although this September I’ve been invited to attend Halifax’s Word on the Street filled with writers and publishers and any one involved in the business and I can hardly wait!!

    • Laura, thanks for your comment. It’s nice to hear from another fellow Canadian.

      There can be so much discouragement in our lives as writers when we’re facing rejection letters and other publication hurdles. I believe the comfort we get from being in the company of those who understand what we’re experiencing helps to nurture the sometimes fragile spirit that keeps us working at our craft.

      The BC Fed has a Word on the Street event each year, too, and, while it doesn’t offer workshops and editing/pitching opportunities such as you get at conferences, it’s a chance to mingle with others in the writing/publishing business and it’s wonderful. You’ll love it!

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