Writing is a battle. It’s a fight to find the right words to express your thoughts or feelings, capture the beauty of a sunset, or explore the depths of the human heart. But writing is not a battle you have to fight by yourself.
As a writer or creative person, you don’t have to do your work completely alone. You don’t have to scale a mountainside, retreat to solitude for 40 days, and then descend with a glorious work of art for people to gaze upon in amazement.
Most pieces of great art are not created in isolation. They are forged in community and collaboration with others.
To create great work and succeed as a writer, you will need a community of people who care about you and your work. Someone in your life who will hold you accountable, encourage you when you’re down, and tell you the truth when you can do better.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Diana Glyer and I talk about why great art needs to be created in community.
Diana shares invaluable lessons on writing, sustaining a creative life, and the power of community from one of the most famous literary groups of all-time—the Inklings.
Listen in as Diana and I discuss what you can learn from the Inklings about the creative life, and practical steps you can take to build your own creative community of support.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)
In this episode, Diana and I discuss:
- Who the Inklings are, and why this group still matters today.
- The dynamics and quirks of literary groups.
- How community can positively influence your work.
- Why people believed the individuals within the Inklings were immune to influence from each other.
- The pervasive myth of the solitary genius.
- How great art and writing is forged in community.
- Why writing is not a momentary flash of genius, but a slow and steady work of art.
- What you need to know about the transactional nature of writing.
- Steps you can take to build your own literary group.
Quotes and takeaways
- We are mesmerized by the end of the story, but we forget about the beginning.
- To build community, you have to take a risk and share your work with others.
- Start small when you build a community of support.
- Loneliness will leave you feeling empty, but community will help you sustain your work.
- Bandersnatch, by Diana Glyer.
- The Company They Keep, by Diana Glyer.
- The Inklings, by Humphrey Carpenter.
- Powers of Two, by Joshua Shenk.
- Tribe Writers.
- Download the full transcript here.
Who are you going to surround yourself with on your writing journey? Share in the comments.