In 2010, a woman named Sage Cohen published a book titled “The Productive Writer.” I blogged about it a bit at the time, but what I couldn’t have foreseen was how I would continue to reference the book. It’s a really good practical guide for trying to squeeze as much writing as you can into your life. And for those of us who are working at making words our livelihood as well as our passion, the book helps to set goals, find clients and not make yourself crazy with it all. I highly recommend it.
But that’s not actually the reason I’m blogging about it. I was re-reading chapter 8 (Tapping Your Source) last night. In it Sage talks about finding your inspiration, and how important it is for writers to not lock themselves away in a room. You have to listen to other writers talk about their craft, you have to build a community.
The further I get in my writing career, the more that rings true for me. I have a writing group, but as awesome as they are (and they are amazing), I need more. I not only need inspiration and feedback on my fiction, I also need a network so that I can continue to find work as a professional. I need to meet more magazine editors, agents, potential clients. I also need writer friends who have similar schedules and can sneak off to a movie in the middle of the day.
I love working on my own, in my pajamas, with no one around to bug me with inane questions about how to make the copier work, but I am also a social person. I need to build my community of writers if for no other reason except that I get lonely sometimes.
To quote Sage Cohen: “Having friends to learn with and from, who are intimately engaged with the unique opportunities and challenges of the writing life, is something that I wish for every writer.”
So I’m starting today. I’m having coffee with an alum from Scripps College (where I got my BA). I’m really looking forward to it. I’m also going to send an email to a couple other writer friends. Wouldn’t it be great to have at least one date a week with a creative cohort? If you happen to be one of those lovely creative types I’ve met over the years – drop a line, we’ll get a cup of coffee one of these days.