Thursday, June 12, 2014

I get by with a little help from my friends...

So I talked a bit about faith communities in the previous post--about how we spur each other on (or sometimes carry each other along--I need the latter a fair amount if I'm honest). Sometimes we need someone quite literally to take our hands and guide us along the way. Other times it's more metaphorical.

A few weeks ago, I was the lucky recipient of a more symbolic hand-holding.

On Twitter, the hashtag #amwriting is a fun one to visit.  You can swap advice and tips, share a bit of your current project, or vent a little. On this particular occasion, I was most interested in the first and third of those things. It wasn't exactly going well. I had reread my work thus far several times, trying to get an idea of how the next scene should play out. I had turned on my favorite writing music. But nothing was coming to me.

Finally, in exasperation, I tweeted, "At the moment, #amstuck feels more apt than #amwriting." 

I think that is my most popular tweet to date. It was retweeted and favorited by several writers who could relate to the feeling. And I picked up several fellow writers as followers. lovely online pal (whom I'll call Campy) immediately responded. She offered to be a cheerleader, beta reader--whatever I needed, whatever would help. I didn't even know what would help at that point, but I appreciated her willingness to step in.

She then came up with the idea of doing a writing sprint together. We'd both set a timer, set our writing play list, and just write for that amount of time. Whatever came out. 

It honestly wasn't terribly different from what I'd been doing (or trying to do, rather) up to that point. And worked. There was something so powerful about knowing someone was out there, writing with me. I started typing...and I kept going. I ended up with over 800 words when all was said and done. And I know it had everything to do with the power of knowing someone was out there, doing it with me. 

The power of community--of being in this thing together. I love it. (Thanks again, Campy!)

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