It’s impossible for me to resist. When I see a crocheted tablecloth or afghan or even a doily that I can get my hands on, I slide every one of my fingers through the holes between the yarn. I love to feel the strands slide into the webby flesh between my fingers, and I stretch my hands wide. The string gives just so far, not to tear or misshape itself, but to give because something living is in it now.

This is how I feel about the community of writers that I am blessed to be a member of. We are wound together through a variety of patterns – school, social networking, other friends – and we make these beautiful patterns in our relationships and in our work. The living that comes through in the holes – our families, our “other” jobs, our hobbies, and our worldviews – they stretch us as individuals and also as a community. The living is what makes us beautiful.
'Tablecloth ' photo (c) 2010, Arienne McCracken - license:
And it is the community that keeps us writing, at least that’s what I believe. Without the other writers I know, I’m not sure I’d keep at it. As the cliche says, writing is a lonely business, and sometimes, that loneliness can swamp the work and drown me. In those moments, these strands between other writers and I are not only beautiful connections; they become lifelines. If there’s one thing I could tell writers who are just coming into this life fully, it’s this – find your people, cling to them, and let them cling to you. You need each other. We need each other.

So today, I want to introduce you to some of my writing friends. They are the people who pull me out of the seas when the loneliness gets too deep. I hope you will take a few minutes and get to know them a bit.

Jansen Herr of The Driving Farce – Jansen is one of the funniest writers I know, and as all humor writers do, he builds in a taste of melancholy and a massive dose of truth in everything he writes. His post for today, “Drawn to Magnetism,” makes some hilarious and insightful links between us women and our cars.

Shawn Smucker has been gracious enough today to post a piece I wrote (just another way of supporting each other), but you should definitely spend some time reading his other posts, especially “Three Things to Do After a Bad Day at the (Writing) Office”; it will give you courage and hope for your writing endeavors.

Just yesterday, several friends, Shawn included, and I launched a new writing cooperative – The Whole Story Media Group. While the explicit purpose of WSMG is business, these folks have also become a great source of encouragement and inspiration for me. Stop by and visit “Our Crew” page, and get to know these amazing folks.

I could list many, many more people – Vanessa Finney, Susan Bernadzikowski, Cate Hennessey, and so many more. To each of them, to each of you, I am grateful. You keep me strong, and I am glad to be part of the struggle and joy that is writing with each of you.