Finding Community: Just Show Up

 
 

Bill and I recently showed up and celebrated author Tara Lynne Groth’s book launch.

Creating art or writing are reclusive practices.  Sure, I look for inspiration from others who create.  But I bring ideas into my lair (a.k.a. my art studio which I call my Zen Room).  There, I ponder these inspirations in solitude as contemplation massages the right side of my brain,

A while back, a friend told me, “Just show up.”  Simple, yet powerful words.  But for introverted artists and writers, this can be difficult.  Just show up equals Put yourself out there.  And that can be downright scary.

However, by just showing up, I have become a part of a community…actually, I’ve become a part of a few communities.  I have been showing up at classes and critique groups, and that has made all the difference (tip of the hat to Robert Frost).

For writers in the North Carolina Triangle area, I highly recommend Triangle Writers, a creative writing group of over 900 members that curates events and activities with the goal of getting published.  I’ve been to many seminars and a few critique sessions through this freelance group.  In fact, in December, I’m hosting a Children’s Book Critique Group in Pittsboro/Chapel Hill through Triangle Writers.

A few months ago, I came across a post for Children’s Book Writing classes through IgnitingWriting.com and I showed up.  I’ve made great friends and have challenged my creativity, taking it in new directions through these classes and groups led by children’s literature expert Susie Wilde.

When I attend Living Poetry meetups and author talks, I buy their books which give me encouragement to publish my own.

Check out MeetUp groups near you.  There’s so much to do, to learn…if you just show up.

Are there other communities that have made a difference in your creative world?  Tell me about them, so I can spread the word and all the good that happens when we just show up.

– Barbara

Marching to the Beat of Her Own Drum – Jennifer Locke

Freelance writer and friend, Tara Lynne Groth, and I often exchange creative ideas…we always seem to be planning something!  So when she suggested I read Jennifer Locke’s blog and that I connect with Jennifer, I looked into her work.  Jennifer and I have started a creativity dialogue, and I have, of course, asked her the question…

What ignites your creativity?

“I’m a writer, so I’m a reader first. Reading exceptional books never fails to inspire me and encourage me to get to the page. However, I’m inspired by anyone excelling in any creative endeavor–music, visual art, drama, etc. In general, people living creative lives give me hope. I love seeing people who’ve said “no” to the “rules” society has laid out and are choosing to march to the beat of their own drums.

“When I need to get in touch with my own creativity, journaling is a big help. I’m a big fan of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, especially the morning pages. I enjoy listening to inspirational podcasts. A long walk can give me time to mull over a particular plot problem or other story element. Baking pies can get me out of my head (and provide a sweet reward for my labor!). Sometimes it’s a matter of clearing figurative “space” for the words to come; lighting a candle, playing stimulating music, tuning out distractions so that I can be in the flow of words. When that happens, it’s a true gift.”

***

Jennifer Locke is a freelance writer and blogger for hire, as well as a YA author. She specializes in health, parenting, and the craft of writing. Jennifer writes articles, blog posts, and site content. When not writing, she’s usually wrangling her toddler twin daughters or nose-deep in a great book. Follow her on Twitter @jamlo525 and visit her website, jenniferlockewrites.com .