On October 1, 2013, the online writers group LimeBird Writers UK posted a fun little writing contest for their second anniversary:
[C]omplete this sentence: “Chocolate is…”. Write your sentence in the comments section below. We will allow up to 3 entries per person. After the deadline, the Limebirds will decide on which sentence is the most creative, and that person will win a yummy box of Celebrations chocolates!
I submitted the entry below….
…and, I won! It was just a box of Celebrations chocolates, but it felt great to try my hand at something and get chosen as a winner. Winning doesn’t happen that often, for me. Plus, those UK chocolates were darn tasty!
I miss the days of fun challenges like this one. My weeks used to be full of exercising my writing skills between WIPs. Back in those days, I got so much joy out of writing stories, sharing them, hearing what others thought and reading theirs, too. Nowadays, I write and I share, but I don’t get a lot of feedback. I don’t read a lot of other people’s blogs, either. I’m not sure if that’s because my life has gotten busier, the temperature of the writing groups online have changed, or I’m simply not as interested any longer.
I miss my friends the LimeBird Writers, too. I do stay in touch with many of them, and I’m always happy to hear how they’re doing, what successes they’re having, and how they are meeting the challenges in their lives. It’s become more personal, where we know each other as more than just writers. (“Just writers.” Like that’s a thing.) There was a tender simplicity to that old way, though. Maybe what I miss is that feeling of not being as much of a grown-up concerned with politics and global issues. It was fun to be “just a writer” for that little while of my life.
It’s also funny to me, though, to think that the outwardly innocuous act of reading and becoming engaged by an informal online writers group could bring me into touch with so many talented, wonderful people. These are folks for whom I feel no envy, only gratefulness for being allowed to get to know them. They were like family, for a time. They came to know me, too, I think.
Maybe that’s what I really miss, what I really long for. The connection that existed once between me and these would-have-been strangers who found a common thread in our lives as writers poking and pulling at our art and craft.
Happy anniversary, LimeBirds, wherever you are. Your time may have been brief, but I, for one, enjoyed it.
I miss the LimeBirds too. And the old weekly prompts from Julia’s Place, 5 Sentence Fiction or Free Write Friday. Maybe it was the fact that those were all challenges for us, daring us directly to write something new and different than anyone else. Sure, there are other prompt challenges out there, but those felt the most personal, at least to me. Maybe because those were better at getting the whole “Just Writers” community talking to each other and inspiring each other. It’s how you and I got here, after all!
I think that you’re right in saying how much things have changed between 2013 and now. There’s overall just less time to write, less time to read other writers and give them props. I don’t think you’re less interested in writing, and what you write has only gotten better. But now, you’re getting bolder, writing full on stories close to the heart, so you want to make sure it’s the best it can be when you reveal it. Totally makes sense to me!
Keep on writing, just like you tell me to do! Even if the community has gotten a little smaller, that only makes it more personal, at least in my mind.