This year has shown us just how much we rely on community; our families, our friends, our work colleagues and the strangers we used to see every day. Some handle solitude better than others, and at times it can be cherished, but I think we can agree we sometimes need more than what Zoom and other online platforms can provide right now.
Having said that, I’m immensely grateful for the writing community I recently reconnected with over Zoom. I had begun to feel quite estranged from my fellow writers in this country, and not just because of Covid. At university I had a group of likeminded writers handed to me in the classroom. There was always a play or a talk to attend, or a fun project to dive into. When we graduated two years later it got harder. I was lucky to be commissioned to write a play for a theatre in Finland, and spent my time focused on that (in addition to my day job). Three years later however, with the play on tour and my brain back in the UK game, I realised I no longer felt part of the writing community that had helped me grow up to become a playwright.
This is by no means the community’s fault. I stepped away. Focused my energies elsewhere. Had to prioritise. But even someone who deals well with solitude needs to feel like they belong. Hence I was delighted when I realised I’d done enough to become a full member of the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain. Not only do I know they have my back if I need help, but they have also put on a wonderful series of online talks recently, that have made me feel engaged with my fellow UK writers again. I have returned to the community that brought me so much excitement and joy when I first moved to London to study playwriting and screenwriting. We might not all know each other by name, but I feel included nevertheless, and that means a lot right now.
Ps. You can join WGGB as a student or candidate member as well, so if you’re interested, don’t be silly like me and wait until you can get full membership.
(This post has been written out of appreciation, expressing my personal views, not by request.)