I wish I could sit you down at my kitchen table this morning. You'd choose the pottery mug that looked how you felt, and I'd fill it with steaming french press coffee. If you're lucky, you'd get a layer of foam clinging to the edges of your cup. And then, we could talk properly.
I've had an eventful few weeks, and I'm filled with little anecdotes. I'm sure you have your own - things you're learning and loving, people you've met, moments of life's ordinary glory.
Two weeks ago, I was in Grand Rapids, MI for the Festival of Faith and Writing. My brain was on information overload from days of panels and workshops and keynote talks. But my extroverted people-tank was filled to the brim with conversations that transformed strangers into new friends. It was lovely.
I spend the vast majority of my writing time alone. In this moment, my company is a stack of books and notes for my next project and a snoring cat on the couch. This job, by nature and necessity, requires solitude. But it does not require loneliness.
This is the greatest gift of events like the FFW. Yes, I learn a lot and am challenged in my thinking and in my craft. Yes, I have the privilege to listen to writers I respect share about their work and to be introduced to new writers I should be reading. But most of all, I'm immersed in a group of people who are on this same journey. People who, in spite of hard work or set-backs or nagging self-doubt, are still willing to stake life and livelihood on a belief in the beauty of language and the power of stories. It is a gift indeed.
I'd love to hear your story! Do you ever feel lonely in your work? Have you found "your people"? How do you surround yourself with a community to encourage you?