#1 Prompt: Passion: How has writing helped you grow in 2011? In what ways would you like to invite more writing into your life in 2012?
#2 Prompt: A Community I Love - Online & IRL we're all part of a multitude of communities. Tell us about one that moves you.
#1 -- After Reverb10, I was inspired to move the writing up a notch and begin to think about what kind of book I want to write. Well, that fizzled out, and I did not even write in the blog as much as I'd intended, at least until Dec. 1 when I began Reverb11. Clearly I need to have a better plan. Better intention Better execution.
Nonetheless, I'm a writer, no matter how often or not I post something here. And I'm a reader too-- actually, I can't imagine being a writer without being a reader -- and I did read a lot more this year, intentionally. By thinking of how a story flows together, what works and what doesn't, how I respond to dialogue and description, I become a better writer myself.
We joined the Redding Writers Forum in January and learn from the monthly programs as well as just hearing about who is publishing and where. And we both read some of our work aloud during Read-Around sessions -- inviting comments from the audience.
We'll keep going to the Writers Forum in 2012 and reading the two writing magazines we now subscribe to, plus several books about writing I've got on my iPad and also in paper. I'll keep writing in my blog, perhaps using prompts of some sort at least weekly -- there are so many out there to choose among, and that is good discipline. And I'll keep reading.
#2 -- I really love my Facebook community, trite as that may seem. Through FB, I've learned more about some newer friends, and we've made a conscious effort to connect at least monthly in person as a result, bringing some real treasures into my life. It's deepened connections to other friends because I get to see and hear what's in their lives more regularly than phone calls or even getting together can do, and expanded at least a little my contact with friends from long ago. (Disclaimer: I'm pretty selective about who I choose to see my information and pictures and posts, and that makes a big difference in how I use FB, to be sure.)
I've reconnected with several cousins on both sides of my family who for years have been mostly fading memories and addresses in my Christmas card list. While I still can't say that I 'know' them, at least there are some pictures of them now (I'm talking decades of not seeing a couple of them, and now that our parents are gone, I don't even get the bits of news my mother used to tell me.) So I get to share a little about what their lives are, and they get to see some of mine. That's a big step towards a family reunion one of these days.
Certainly that connection was what alerted to me that one cousin was in a life crisis back in April, and even though I'd seen him a handful of times since we were children, I really don't know him. But there is this family bond, a connection of shared memories. (I wrote about that time here and here.) And I've sent him a brief e-mail most days ever since, just a few sentences, usually with some kind of quotation. I don't hear back from him much, but I understand from another cousin that he's doing better. That makes me so grateful for him and for our strange, interesting family ties.
FB has its share of criticism and problems. Any community does, virtual or face-to-face. But it sure works for me.