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.
This 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.