A few years ago I launched a writing course that exceeded all my expectations. Not because it made me rich or famous — but because of what happened inside the space created for the participants. What happened when those wild hearted souls gathered together was nothing short of magic.
Writers are often an introverted group, preferring the company of words to people, but that creative fire — left to its own devices — can burn itself out rather quickly.
You know what I’m talking about. We call it writer’s block. Frustrated Artist Syndrome. The whole overdone trope of the artist pacing in his slovenly garrett tearing his hair out — full of angst and unable to write or paint or make music. And always alone.
But here’s the thing. Writers — artists, musicians, creative beings — we gather. Somehow we pull away from our art and we dust ourselves off and we emerge into the outside air. And then we find each other. Introverted or no, there’s a magnetic force in play that brings creatives together. Over and over, through the ages.
We find one another because we need one another.
Leonard and Virginia Woolf and their contemporaries — renowned intellectuals, artists, philosophers and other early 20th century badasses — formed the London based Bloomsbury Group — creating works that had long reaching impact on literature, economics and feminism.
The Saturday evening literary salons at Gertrude Stein’s 27 rue de Fleurs welcomed that Lost Generation of post-war Parisian expats that included Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso, Joyce and Matisse into ‘a haven for the sacred sparks of insight visited upon humans…Stein’s apartment was a church with art as the divine matter.
And perhaps the most famous of these magnetic creative gathering points — The Chelsea, in New York City. To read it’s list of residents — Dylan, Bukowski, Joplin, Miller, Mapplethorpe, Ginsberg, Warhol, Cohen, Kerouac is to take a deep dive into the exploding literary and music scene of the 50’s and 60’s — an unintentional artists colony smack dab in the middle of Manhattan — a legend around every corner and more stories than the walls will ever tell.
All of these wildly talented artists convened in these spaces and places because they needed each other. Needed to be fed by the convergence of ideas and passion and creativity. To be supported. To find understanding — to discover others whose demons would play nicely (or at least creatively) with their own.
I need this. You need it too.
You know you do. Even if you look at that word that I keep using — Writer (With-A-Capital-W) and think… “that’s not me. I’m not a real writer”. Quiet that voice — right now. You’ve got a desire to write and a pull to the story — of course you do, or you wouldn’t be here.
And I would be willing to bet that you feel that hunger to gather with others. To find that tribe. To discuss. To dive deep. To drink. To dance. To seduce the muse. To be understood. To be uplifted. To join your fire to their fire and all of our fire. To burn. To rise. To create. Together. En masse.
Because you need it. To maintain the spark. To fuel the flame. To keep burning and burning and burning until your story can be born. Because when creatives gather? That is exactly what happens. Watch out. That combined creative fire? It’s magnified for all.
You need this. And we need you.
When my, ’Wild Heart Writing’ course launched a few years ago I watched as the women and men in that space formed their own version of what Hemingway and Bukowski and Woolf claimed for themselves so long ago.
Though this wasn’t a decrepit hotel in Manhattan or a ritzy salon on Paris’ Left Bank — simply your typical Facebook group — we created community. We formed a tribe. We showed up as ourselves, raw and vulnerable and lit from within with the power of what was being created. Not just words and stories and ignited hearts — but a swirling force of creative energy — far greater than any one of us could have created alone. We lifted and legitimized and most importantly of all we saw each other. Fully.
I’ve never seen anything like it.
Several years later — the community, and the sharing and the combined creative fire — it continues to burn.
And let me clarify one thing. I did not create this community. I created a course that helped weave common threads among strangers. The birth of the community was alchemy and mystery and full on magic. The creative community creates itself, and it grows itself and it becomes through the sheer force of that much passion in one space. It is inevitable and it is necessary and it is a thing of great beauty and love.
“We know that community is sacred. The fire where we gather, sharing our stories, tending to the light and release, is where we resurrect ourselves and remember ourselves. It’s where we die and labor ourselves anew. It is a holy place where we see with tender eyes and let ourselves be fully seen. The sweet honey loving of the Wild Heart Writers so naturally calling out what they liked and loved about another’s writing was beautiful. I find myself still posting here because it feels like a home for my wild heart and wild words to come and be real and revealed. Even though the course is over, I truly hope the writing and the group has just begun.”
Winter Session participant, Tulasi Adeva
Soon we begin again. Welcoming another group of creatives and soul searchers and wild hearts. Opening our arms to another collection of those who know that the best way to find yourself, is to get lost in the wild, and then write your way back home. Growing the writing community that started by the most perfect sort of serendipity.
I would love, more than anything, if you would join us — to make this commitment to yourself and your writing community, to be welcomed into our tribe of Wild Hearts.
I’m positive Hemingway and Fitzgerald would totally have my back on this one.
“The Wild Heart Writers space allows me to feel alive and connected to my own wild heart and all the beautiful, messy, raw, honest, amazing pieces of me I see in all of you…You give words to the deepest truth inside me, that I don’t have. I give understanding to you that is true and real and known. You inspire me. I risk showing up. We expose our nakedness and see our common humanity”
Winter Session participant, Kathy Whitman