Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Generosity of Writers

This weekend I went to two writer events. I don't know about other cities, but Cleveland has a community of the most generous and amazing writers I could ever imagine. For several years I took classes at what was then known as the Poet's and Writer's League of Greater Cleveland. Now it is known as The Lit. I worked with incredible fiction writers and poets and I learned more than I can say here. I had been writing my own personal form of poetry for several years and it focused on feelings, (specifically anger most of the time.) I learned about the complexity of writing poems, editing and publishing poetry, and that they were so much more than expressing your feelings
I have a chapbook now and some poetry credits but I still feel like I am a newbie among these accomplished writers. However, they don't react to me that way. I am immediately accepted and encouraged in their presence. I have to accept that I AM a writer. I had several offers to read my poetry on one night. Today the facilitator of one of the classes was someone whose blog I read and he, in turn, has read mine and was kind enough to order my chapbook. He put my blog up on the screen and told the class that my poems make him cry. There is not a thread of competition when you are among other writers. We are in this together. We all know what drives us from within and we understand each other without ever meeting face to face. These writers are also incredibly generous with their time and advice. I can only hope to pay it forward someday.
Thank you to all my mentors out there. You know who you are.

Writing breaks open the vaults of the dead and the skies behind which the prophesying angels hide. Sylvia Plath

1 comment:

John Ettorre said...

How grand and glorious it was to finally meet you this weekend, Diane. And how right you are about the importance (and the wonder) of fellowship among writers. Just know that anyone who's any good at this, or serious about our craft, shares that feeling of being a newbie, because the longer we practice our craft, the higher we set the bar, and the more there is to learn about how to arrange words in ways that matter and that touch hearts, as your poems have touched mine. Finally, I love this sublime Plath quote. Thanks for sharing it.