By: Anthea Kotlan
As writers we might envision that our top priority for our creative work is getting words on the page in total isolation, but Cathy Rueter, our speaker for August of 2019, chose a slightly different path. “I’ve become known in my little writing circle as a people connector.”
Cathy goes on to say, “I love being around other people. Especially writers and other Creatives…admittedly, as an Ambivert (a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features) I need some alone time, but I enjoy the energy and creativity I get from being with others”
So how do writers tap into this kind of vibrant community?
1. Don’t hide behind your computers. Online community is great, but the personal connection is essential and necessary to pouring into our wells of creativity.
2. Get out! Go for coffee, join groups, cheer on the kids at games, go to school functions. You never know where you’ll connect with someone on a deeper than “hello” level.
3. Nurture the next layer of community. If we only have one or two people that we rely on—what happens if those people move, have a life changing event that we can’t be part of, or are just in our lives for a season? Go beyond one or two close friends.
1. Never stop learning, from the newbies coming up in the ranks. Learn from each other. I believe our creativity well is endless. This will help avoid your well running dry.
2. Pour back into yourselves with friendships, new experiences, doing things you enjoy, going to writer’s groups and conferences, and adding to your banks of knowledge.
3. Surround yourselves with community.
Finally, what’s one piece of advice you wish someone had told you about community when you were starting out as a writer?
I wish someone had told me not only how to build the connections, but how to keep them, too. Even if keeping them is only through a gossamer thread of reaching out once or twice a year. I’ve lost contact with too many people over the years. Some I’ve reconnected with, but some I have no idea where they are now. A few I’ve lost without letting them know the impact they made on my life.
We all get so busy. Sometimes in that busy-ness we forget that the connections we make with others is the most important part of us being who we are. So yeah, I wish someone had given me the instruction manual on how to keep those friendships near and dear forever. Imagine the web of connections I could make with those now!
Cathy Rueter will be our speaker at our chapter meeting this Saturday, August 10th at 11 am at Lupe Tortilla. She is a former reporter and newsletter editor. She is returning to her passion of freelance writing while pursuing a career as a Christian author and speaker. She is the founder of Fledgling Writers Community, geared toward new writers but welcoming all to the nest.
Originally from the Greater Grand Rapids, MI area, she now lives within the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex with her husband and two sons. If she’s not at her desk, you can probably find her with her nose in a book—hanging out in her hammock on the back porch, or in the car traveling to various writer’s groups and conferences.
With a revamped website coming this summer, connect with Cathy at: www.cathyrueter.com www.facebook.com/cathyrueterwriter, @ClRueter, or join her in the nest at:
https://www.facebook.com/FledglingCommunity/ or @FledglingWC.