I blog a lot about not-writing. Even my one “writing” post looks more like not-writing.
No, not that Community.
I went to FOGcon this weekend, where I got to hang out with fellow inkpunks Jaym and Erika, as well as a swath of friends (Emily, Jeff, Ann, Andy, Amy, Abner (that’s a lot of A’s), and more). From what I’ve heard, panels were fantastic (I only went to one — oops!), and what I experienced of the con was really fun. And what made it fun was the people I was with.
I’ve said, aloud and on twitter, how I’m persistently stunned and amazed by the friends I have, and incredibly grateful that they call me a friend. I’m blessed to know some insanely brilliant (and maybe brilliantly insane), driven, talented, aware, compassionate, hilarious, generous people. And I don’t even want to limit that to writing. I know designers, gamers, musicians, programmers, start-up masterminds, community organizers, all of whom are incredibly thoughtful and kind and welcoming.
The community is what I love. It’s what helps keep me sane when all I want to do is flail about everything that comes my way — good and bad. It’s what smooths down my feathers when I feel like a scattered mess and totally adrift. They celebrate my victories with me, and offer tea in moments of defeat. And they’re the people who, when I see they are stumbling in some way, I want to step in and say, “Need something?”
Community isn’t something you can force. Nobody really invites themselves in or forces themselves on one another. You just happen to squee over the same book or spot one or the other looking a little frazzled and offered a hand, and suddenly, you have a tribe.
Writing isn’t easy. It’s fun (I think it’s fun, otherwise, I’d find something better to do with my time) but it isn’t easy. As I say, all the time, “Words are hard.” It’s frustrating and isolating and so we reach out and go to cons so we can find the party room with the most booze and swill vodka and bitch about the latest Internet kerfuffle. But when you have a really solid community, it helps. Sometimes, you don’t even need to reach out and ask for someone’s ear. Simply knowing it’s there can help.
The tl;dr version of this post.
I don’t really have any advice to offer (rarely do). This isn’t about advice. This is just a big hug-fest, or whatever, you know? Sometimes we need to remember that yeah, words are important, but even more than that, the people are important, and deserve high fives for the simple fact that they are awesome. And I just wanted to take a moment to celebrate that.