“WRITING AND COMMUNITY” by Susan Lynn Reynolds

Many years ago, soon after the publication of my first novel, I ran into a serious writer’s block. This wasn’t a small barricade across the road with a few sketchy banditos standing there discouraging me with some rusty artillery. This was a solid concrete barricade that stretched from horizon to horizon barring my way. This was the Berlin Wall of writer’s blocks. I couldn’t imagine how I was going to get through it.

I turned to books about writing, and I turned to other writers for community in this dark night of the writer’s soul to find out how they dealt with fear and procrastination. I began attending writers’ circles and producing small pieces—exercises that “didn’t matter”—to share in those groups. I found the Writers’ Circle of Durham Region and began attending their monthly breakfast meetings. In fact, I began looking forward to those meetings as the highlight of my month.

And eventually, with the help of other writers, we dismantled my roadblock brick by brick, and I was finally able to move into the undiscovered territory of my next novel.

Needless to say, I believe deeply in the power of the writing community to help other writers achieve their goals, dreams and desires—so much so that I now serve on the board of the Writers’ Circle to give back to the community that gave so much to me.

The Ontario Writers’ Conference is another fantastic opportunity to experience community in writing—for one day in 2010, a diverse and talented group of writers of all genres and all levels will gather together with some of the best people in our field to network, educate, and share in the joy of putting words on paper and getting them into the world.

I encourage all struggling writers (and isn’t that most of us, in one way or another?!) to attend the OWC in May 2010 and experience the power of community in writing to help all of us achieve our goals as authors.

Yours in writing,

Susan Lynn Reynolds,
President 2008-2010,
The Writers’ Circle of Durham Region

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