Why Community Matters

I know there are writers who practice the art in solitude — those disheveled characters who stumble out of their garrets with manuscript in hand after ten years of labour, and go straight to a publishing house. But not me.  Since I became serious about writing fiction fifteen years ago, I have sought out friends and mentors with the sure sense that there were people whose experience and knowledge I would need to stay the course.  Loneliness would  have done me in long ago without this strong writing community to which I belong.

One of my favourite extensions of community has been the Sage Hill Writing Experience where I’ve twice worked on major projects — and both of those projects eventually became books, so you see why I love the place!

Next week I’m spending three days at Christopher Lake in the wonderful wacky company of the members of the 2003 Robert Kroetsch Novel Colloquium.   Unfortunately, RK isn’t able to join us, but we’ve had the reunion “blessed” by this amazing mentor just as our work was blessed by those ten days we spent with him in 2003.  Dave  isn’t able to join us either, but Leona, Jean, Rod, and BettyJ will be there!

And on my way back, I get to have dinner in Saskatoon with one of my UBC classmates, Adrienne — gifted poet whose first book is poised to leap out this fall.

Other writers.  Yes. We need them.