I love that we can learn new things at any age. In my first writing class at the John C. Campbell Folk School two years ago, not one of us had ever before attempted writing our own life stories. And we were a group with participants in their 20’s up into their 70’s.
My experience there has led to all kinds of wonderful things. Not only did I recognize a talent for and a love of writing stories, but I got the motivation to keep it up: a group of us stayed in touch and started an on-line writing group. The first of every month we send pieces out to each other for critique. This past March four of us from the group reunited at the Folk School for another writing class. And now we’re planning our own yearly writing retreat!
I would love to again have that feeling of being so excited about life that I can’t wait to start each day. But in the meantime, what keeps me going are trips. A while back I came across a website for a place specifically dedicated to hosting writers for a week to months. I sent it out to our group saying it seemed possibly “too quiet.” That’s when I was thinking of going alone. But to host our group it is perfect. Five simple but beautifully furnished rooms, large front porches, all overlooking the James River in Virginia.
One of the many fabulous things about my on-line writing group is that when someone throws out an idea, the responses are usually nothing but the enthusiastic let’s-do-it type. The plans are coming together. I volunteered to supervise the food schedule. Each of us will have one night we’re responsible for the meal (there’s a communal kitchen). Each of us will also serve one night as the sous-chef. And yesterday I called and e-mailed The Porches to inquire about our dates. We’re planning for next summer, but a few of us will probably go this summer to “check it out” as Lois says. (Really, of course, we just can’t wait a year to see each other again, to get away, and do some writing!)
So you know all those things I say about how good it is to do things alone once in a while? Here’s another reason: you may make some fabulous friends and years later find yourself in a beautiful old home with them overlooking a river, laughing, cooking, and writing.