Thursday, July 22, 2010
Relationships--how they fuel your writing
Nine years ago, when I relocated to Florida, I left behind a community of friendships I’d cultivated for twenty years. Great friendships. People I still call my friends and who I visit each year when I return home.
Nine years later, I can count on one hand how many close relationships I’ve built here. Orlando is a transient area made worse by the plunging economy. People I’ve met have moved away or broken off with their spouses or changed jobs. Neighbors rarely wave and most of the churches are so large, I never see the same people twice.
Relationships fuel my stories. And they fuel who I am.
Without them, I dry up. Without them, my writing becomes artificial.
So I've found creative ways to fuel my need to connect. I started a writer’s group. I teach senior citizens memoir writing. I ran a woman’s group in our church. Each has their season. But again, once that time ends, so do most of relationships. People move on. People live a distance apart. People enjoy busy lives.
(And trust me, I'm friendly. My dining room table has seen it's share of new faces.)
Would I love to live someplace else? Would I love to live where once again I knew everyone on the streets and enjoyed a little history with them? Of course. But for now, God has placed me here.
What does that mean for my writing? It means I'll have to dig a little deeper to write about those strings that connect, those moments we tuck away in our memories, and those characters who make us chuckle.
How do your relationships fuel your writing?