Writing is such a solitary activity.

But sometimes we are fortunate enough to be called into a community of writers. Others who share our passion for learning and for making meaning with our lives.

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The authors of chapters in a forthcoming book about vocation across the disciplines in higher education. July 31,2015, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Last week I shared a lot of laughter and thoughtful inquiry with the group above.

This group led me to reflect on other communities of writers in my life:

  • Writers Conferences in Santa Barbara, California, and Bear River, Michigan.
  • Book Festivals in Brooklyn, Charlottesville, and Calvin College.
  • A local writers group consisting of three people who live within three miles of my house.
  • Workshops I’ve led myself or taken over many years in various places.
  • College-level writing courses I’ve both taken and led.
  • Book projects that combine the talents and perspectives of multiple authors.
  • Writers retreats. You can attend the 2010 Fetzer Institute retreat through videos here.
  • Friend writers retreat. My last one was with this group in Chincoteague.

During the three days our Vocation Book group spent at the Prince Center at Calvin College, we shared many Magical Memoir Moments — stories of our lives together. Out of those stories arose a lovely community that calls all of us to deeper connection with self, others, language, and God.

Guess what? My experiences in community are calling me next to solitude. The pendulum in my life swings that way. I miss living close to The Hermitage and Gilchrist, two retreat centers that have fed my spirit often. I’m hoping to find some Virginia retreat centers. Know of any?

What calls you more now right now? Community or solitude? How do you establish a rhythm between the two?

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