Writing often feels like a solitary act, a lonely occupation. Many of us create our best work in moments of quiet solitude, rubbing our tired eyes as we stare at a bright computer screen in a dimly lit room.
But any writer who thinks she can do it all on her own is kidding herself. As author Natalie Goldberg has taught me, writing is a communal act. Sometimes we need someone to help us banish writer’s block or to make us submit that article, short story, poem, or proposal. Sometimes we need someone to tell us to stop talking about being a writer and actually write something for heaven’s sake!
This is why I have a writing partner. For the past month or so I’ve been meeting with my writing partner every Tuesday afternoon at a local coffeehouse. For two hours we just sit together and write. And it is wonderful. It’s hard to explain how much I enjoy our time together, but I know it simultaneously feels like recess and worship. Each pen stroke is an act of prayer and a moment of play.
I recently helped some members of See Jane Write Birmingham find writing partners and blogging mentors within our group. I call this little literary matchmaking program The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pens, a name for which I cannot take credit (Thanks, Erin). Last night a few of the women in The Sisterhood got together for dinner at a local pizza parlor. Over slices of warm pie and glasses of cold beer, we chatted about our writing goals and the books we’re reading. We dished about family drama and confessed our Twitter obsessions. And in just two hours we felt like family and were trying to figure out when we’d do this again.
|Irene Grubbs, Glenny Brock, Javacia Harris Bowser (me!),
Mimi Latoine, Mindy Santo, Jennifer Dome, and Amber Roberson
|Writing partners Mimi and Mindy share a laugh.|
|The reaction when Glenny revealed the topic of the book she’s currently writing.|
|The hilarious Sherri and Irene|
|Amber and Sherri|
Cross-posted (with larger pictures and a bonus photo) at The Writeous Babe Project.