Saturday, April 9, 2011

Community

This is my last night at the Missouri Writers Guild Conference, and I’m exhausted. I didn’t sleep well due to a loud, early morning storm. I’ve also had other challenges. My phone didn’t work, and last night my computer wouldn't connect to the internet. But after a day filled with several frustrations, I find myself focusing on one word that sums up the experience – community.


Although I’m going to cringe a little when I tell you this, I found the most comprehensive definition of the word on, um, Wikipedia. “In biological terms, a community is a group of interacting organisms sharing a populated environment. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.”

This definition describes perfectly the way writers have come together at the conference to share information, and help each other achieve our goals. Yes, we debate the way we use words, and the best way to write a short story, or article or novel, but we take away dozens of ideas we can use immediately to improve our writing.

Regardless of whether it’s a formal classroom setting, an intimate conversation at the bar or an impromptu meeting in the lobby, we are there for each other, building networks that strengthen our connections. The talk is lively, and often intense. We are serious, and we are happy. We are a community.


"Community." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 09 Apr. 2011

20 comments:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you about the community of writers at this year's MO Writers' Guild Conference. MO has a great literary tradition and it is apparent, from the many creative people in attendance, that that reputation will be "alive and well" for a long time to come. Also, I found it appropriate that you used a definition of community from Wikipedia because, after all, it is also a community of sorts.

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  2. Mary, I totally agree! The conference was wonderful and although I was very tired too, each evening, I wish it could've gone on for a few more days!
    Also, I bought your book!! And I NEED your autograph!! :)

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  3. Mary,
    It was good to meet you in person. I agree, the conference was a community of like-minded individuals bringing their own ideas, and we learned from one another.

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  4. MWG was my first writers conference and I had a BLAST! Everyone was so warm and friendly, it felt more like a reunion!

    Enjoyed the Masters Class with you today!

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  5. Mary, thanks again for trying to save us with your laptop! So glad we were able to spend a little time together at the conference.

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  6. Kristina, love your comment about Wikipedia! How true!
    Becky, that is so weird to hear someone say they want my autograph, thank you!
    Linda, so glad to meet you too!
    Vicki, I wish we could have talked more!
    Dianna, no prob about the laptop, you would have done the same!

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