The Art of Submission: On the Importance of a Writing Tribe

I read a short essay recently by Janis Cook Newman about holding regular writing dates in her house. Once a month she and a group of writing friends gather in the same room to write quietly together. Her tribe, she calls them. The essay stresses the importance of creating that kind of community as a writer, and I couldn't agree more. But when it comes to writing, sitting around in a circle while everyone else is frantically inspired does not sound like fun to me. 

I love the idea of the type of tribe that Newman suggests we all have, but I seriously doubt the logistics of it. As a wirter who has been apart of more writing groups that have fallen apart than I care to consider, I've come to realize that writing and revising really are solitary acts. The sooner I can be comfortable with the fact that I am the only one who will make this thing that I am trying to make, the better. That way, when the writing exchanges fall apart and the weekly meetings come to an end, I will do the thing that is the most important: I will keep writing. Because if I am lucky, there will still be this at the end of it is, this thing that has always been there: the blank page, a wet pen. 

 

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