KaBooM WritersKaBooM Writers

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!


The KaBooM Writers Notebook: Our Blog

Contrary Needs

As a writer, I have two strong and contrary needs, one for solitude and one for community. I once spent a month at a retreat where there were specific rules about community and solitude. Writers and artists breakfasted together and shared the evening meal, but between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm there was to be no conversation. These rules demonstrated the perfect understanding of the contrary needs of the actively creative person.

I don’t live in such a place now.

In solitude, the need I’d say I prefer to gratify more, I write with delight and anguish in private. It’s delicious to be alone with the imagination in a protected space where anything is possible. But, if the post man always finds me in my pajamas, or my children do after they’ve been at school all day, then I have some ‘splainin’ to do. Is this normal? Am I normal?

A community of writers validates this private self. It  offers the opportunity to talk with people who know the vocabulary, practice the struggle, and read books in a similar way. They understand a publication in a small magazine with a readership of less than a thousand is a coup, an occasion for a hand spring when it arrives at the door, much to the befuddlement of the post man.

It is fun to socialize and to feel a part of a community of like minded souls. Hearing a good reading, discussing a problem of construction, or a brand new excellent book or a bad one, links to the happiness inside: I am a member of a tribe. I belong here.

Sometimes this sense of belonging is too seductive, drawing the writer into on-line discussions or too many post-workshop get-togethers and the private life of writing suffers.

When I have over-indulged in community, I long for solitude and return to my desk, dreading meetings, feeling akin to Charles Dickens, who once said, that knowledge of an impending appointment can ruin an entire writing day. I feel that way, too, if my writing must be curbed for a meeting, even if I likely can’t sit for five hours in my chair until the appointed time. It’s the idea of interruption that adds anxiety to the act of writing in solitude.
Yet, in this 21st century in America, I appreciate the opportunity for both privacy and community. It seems a fortune to be able to reconcile the contrary needs. Thank you, fellow writers, for claiming this strange compulsion for self-expression and for insisting its needs be met.

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