Creativity Workshop

Writing and Community: Process vs. Publication

We can write in community and we can write for community.

I’ve always enjoyed writing in community, gathering to bring our creations to life alongside each other. We feed on collective energetic sustenance to keep our projects alive and on accountability to keep our bottoms in the chair to get the writing done. This video explores the value of a writing community.

The larger community we serve as writers is our audience. How do you know when something is ready for publication? How do you find a place to publish your work? This video also explores ways of navigating the publishing industry so you can connect to a community of readers.



Let’s Create!

Sometimes I’ve noticed that the more I connect online, the less I feel connected to people. Here are some activities that may help with connecting to the people around you in a less “virtual” way.


Build a Bridge. 

Use popsicle sticks and glue to build a bridge. Write the names of writers you know on each stick, and then use the sticks to build a bridge, noticing how hard or easy it is to do. Explore the metaphor of the bridge, the knowledge and skills to build one and how it can connect your internal and external writing needs. How much effort is needed to build a bridge with your community?


Visit Your Community. See Through a New Perspective. 

Pretend you are a tourist in your town. When I did this I walked along the harbour, sat on a bench at the beach enjoying something from the bakery, and spontaneously decided to buy a ticket for an evening show. Reflect on the experiences along the way, aiming to have a five-dimensional moment where you can describe it through each of the five senses. Extension: Invite a friend to do this too and then share.


Interview. 

Create a list of questions you have about the publishing industry, then a list of writers you admire. Over the next year, look for opportunities to ask other writers your questions. Add some of your questions in the comment field below.


Fairytale. 

If you were to translate your learning as a writer into a fairytale, how would it go?


Explore. 

Choose a number in the Fibonacci sequence and then do something with it. For example, every week add five new connections: Add five friends to your social networks. Visit five blogs. Read the jackets of five books from your shelf. Call five relatives and say hello. Create five metaphors. Visit five stores. Read five pages of your journal. Read five different pieces you wrote in the past. Listen to five songs. Walk five blocks. Drive to five neighbourhoods. Cook a five-course meal. Buy five foods you’ve never tried. Play five games with a child. Clean five closets. Sort five boxes. Google-search your five favourite words.



Here are two of my favourite writing communities:

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