Writing Alone, Together #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

Well, I realized this morning I hadn’t done a Poetry Friday post for this week. With not setting it up last weekend as usual, and then  WRAD and many deadlines during the week, I totally forgot about it. Until 3 a.m. today. I went back to sleep. But then at 4, the scraping, rumbling snowplows woke me, and I gave up. I got up, drafted my poem, and here you go!

It’s based on the lovely practice of writing alone, together. I’m doing this with two different groups right now. One is monthly, and one is every two weeks. Each time, when we get to the writing portion of the class/group/session, we all mute (but leave our cameras on) and write. We can’t hear each other. Our screens are full of our own work, so we’re not looking at each other. But we leave our cameras on. We stay in the room, so to speak. And we’re each writing individually, but somehow, the connection is there. We’re a writing community. I’m finding it amazing!

Here’s the draft I did this morning about this experience.


And for lots of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with funny, fabulous Jone MacCulloch!


24 Responses

  1. What a great idea, Laura! Such a lovely way to stay connected and on task. And your poem is a lovely tribute to the time you spend with your groups alone- together.

  2. I love how you feel a part of the chorus of the forest, together, yet alone. There is something powerful and comforting in that. I don’t feel it quite like this, but I do quiet writing time with my virtual students. Like you, we leave cameras on (well, I do, at least) and heads are down writing. We come back to share, or not. It’s not quite like in person writing time, but it’s better than not writing alone together.

    1. Yes, the coming back together afterward is crucial. In my two groups, we don’t read our work, usually, but we do talk about our progress, the way in to our writing, etc. It’s amazing!

  3. Oh, my gosh! This is so lovely, Laura. What a gift to be able to write something this touching in such a short span of time. You are amazing! xo

    1. It’s not a class…just a practice that two small groups I’m part of are trying out. Long ago, Dori Butler told me she met with writer friends in person every couple of weeks or something, and they wrote together, silently. This was years ago. Not a critique group. Just writing together. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. But I’ve wanted to try something like that for the past few years and just haven’t gotten my act together to organize it in person. I’m so happy to be trying it out online, at least! It’s something any critique group or writing group of friends could try out!

  4. Laura, thank you for sharing this wonderful poem. I have to admit I was skeptical of the value of online writing groups, but now that I’ve been part of a few of them, I imagine they’ll be a part of my writing life for years to come. Your words, “a slim silver intent / connects us” sums things up in such an insightful way. We are connected, much like we are in a community like this one. That, I believe, is a fantastic thing!

  5. I love the connection in your poem. Here’s to more writing communities and connections.

  6. An excellent poem and thought. We feel so isolated, but we are so lucky to share virtually. Thanks for this…

  7. “A slim silver intent” struck me with beauty.

    And the gift of distubing, aggravating rumble rousing you in mid-sleep, mid-sleep. No poem without that.

    Appreciations dear Laura!


  8. I love that “slim silver intent!” Perfect! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  9. Oh, this is lovely, Laura. I love “a slim silver intent/connects us”. How wonderful to share this connection with a group of other writers.

  10. Laura, I love this idea of writing alone, together. Even with, in person groups, when everyone is writing at the same time each is alone with their thoughts but writing together! I also love that you jumped out of bed when awake to write your poem. I get some of my best writing ideas late at night or early in the morning! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I rarely wake with an idea, so this was so unusual for me. I was just stressed that I hadn’t gotten a post together, and I think that pushed everything else out of my head :>)

  11. “As surely as gravity.” and “Not me, we” are beautiful, Laura. I am impressed that you put this all together, must be that inspiration! And I love that perfect picture!

  12. I love the connection in your poem comparing standing in the forest with your eyes closed to the writing group. This is a lovely poem done on the spot.

  13. Beautiful, Laura! “not me, but we” — yes! Community (in person and via screen) is everything. I’m super impressed with your middle of the night creation. 🙂

  14. “A slim silver intent connects us” — I love that, Laura, and also, “not me, but we.” What a gift!

  15. Hmm–you call it a “slim silver intent,” but in the next stanza that connection becomes as strong as “pine and birch,/singing to the sky.” Being in the same room–even a virtual one–is power!

  16. Laura, I also love the idea of your online “writing alone together” writing groups. Any kind of connection is so important, especially right now. I love your poem and how the photo that you chose weaves together the connections in your poem and with your life like “slim silver intent
    connects us.” The third stanza sings to me. I love how you “feel the pine and birch singing” and how that connects you and your groups through writing in the last stanza. Did you mean for the word “keys” to have two meanings? The other meaning singing in key. Beautiful, Laura!

    1. Laura, I studied your poem; you packed it with alliteration, consonance, assonance, and repetition. You also have rhyme and internal rhyme. Therefore, when read aloud your poem sings!

  17. Laura, alone-together writing is a sacred bond. Your ending rings with that thought. Your ending is so lovely and surprised me because I did not expect it. “silent chorus” is a great set of words.

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