Sunday, October 4, 2009

Square 64: Writers' circle

Square 064

Someone said it's easy to write; you just open a vein and bleed. I did a lot of my writing longhand until the recent purchase of a laptop, and often would imagine the thread of ink across the white page was not really black, but crimson. The best writing comes when I do not hesitate to plumb my deepest, most difficult thoughts and emotions.

I've been writing all my life, but have experienced a mini renaissance lately. After long years of wishing for writing companions with whom I could meet and share encouragement, in 2007 I took responsibility for my own need of community and started a writers' circle. It meets every week at Out On The Shelf. It took a long time to get going but during the past year it has come to life, and the meeting is one of the highlights of my week.

The most important friendship to emerge from this has been with my writing partner, Sarah. For many months the writers' circle included just the two of us. That evolved into a weekly "business meeting" when we talk about our creative processes and challenges, and set goals for the time ahead. No other habit is more potent in propelling my ideas forward.

Recently I have had trouble with fiction writing. The stories won't move easily from the shadowy recesses of my mind onto the page, and once there they don't seem to communicate what I want them to. I tell myself I must cross this mountain to achieve a higher plateau, perhaps a better quality of prose, but without Sarah and the writers' circle I would probably lose courage and lapse into months of not-writing. So this square goes out with gratitude to them; with ink, blood and the richness of colours we strive to pour out of ourselves.


  1. Van,

    Your words shimmer with autumn
    Crunch like fresh apples
    Throb like heart-strings
    I have missed them,
    and the writers circle,
    Like a rainbow misses red
    (my favourite colour)


  2. Cole, I miss you, too. No conversation is ever as interesting as it could be when you are around. I really would like to visit you there someday. How are you doing? Settling in?