more chatter about synergy

I think my Beatles analogy went a little astray in my recent synergy post. The point I was trying to make — and seemed to have missed — is that I think the quality of the music they made as individuals diminished because they did not have the synergy on their own that they had as a group. I’m not referring to the collaborative creation of any given Beatles song but the intangible, uplifting influence of simply being part of a group of creative, like-minded people.

Similarly, I’m not suggesting that creative writing needs to be collaborative (though it can be). Rather, I’m saying that I think for many writers, the solitary act of writing can be enhanced simply by having a peer group of creative, like-minded people.

I’ve had a number of email conversations with fellow writers and even protracted comment threads on several writers’ blogs, but these tend to be sporadic and ad hoc. They’re not really what I think I’m after. Nor have I found writer forums to be on the mark, at least for my needs.

If I could find such a group, what might take place? Banter and badinage, palaver and persiflage! Maybe discussions about the intricacies of a certain word processor. Or the change in staff at a certain publication. Or a newly discovered writer who should be shared. Or talk about the weather. Or a favorite brand of beer. Just about anything, including possibly, though not in any obligatory way, the work on a piece of fiction one member struggles with. I see such a group as a retreat, a pressure valve, an insiders club. Not a workshop necessarily. Maybe more of a social club.

I don’t know. I think I’m chasing phantoms.

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3 Comments on “more chatter about synergy”

  1. Lyra Says:

    Paul,
    I know exactly where you’re coming from on this. I was in the same boat, and what worked for me was to comment on the blogs of people that I sincerely dug what they were saying. It was through those thin connections at first, that I developed some friendships that are just as real, maybe moreso, than those in real life, as we are writers and we’re writing…even our lies are honest ;).
    Some of them I may critique work behind the scenes, but most of the time it’s a group of friends who have that writing thing in common. And when I need a little support it is from people get it, they get the joke.
    I wish for you the same. If you put it out there, there’s a good chance it will.

  2. Averil Dean Says:

    I wish for the same thing. I love blogging and all the like-minded friends I’ve made, but I secretly wish we were ‘real’, that I could see their faces and hear their voices and feel a warm body nearby when we gather on Friday nights for a drink at the pub. I’m hoping to find that in Portland.

  3. Paul Lamb Says:

    Lyra – Your thoughts may be more apropos that you realize. One of my ambitions is to retire from the rat race and move to my rural property, deep in the woods, two miles from the paved road and ten miles from the nearest town. I don’t suppose I’ll have many chance for face-to-face synergizing then. A virtual support group is what I obviously need to cultivate now.
    Averil – My son and daughter-in-law live in Portland. I expect to visit them there about every other year. Maybe we can be a support group of just two, once every two years at that pub some Friday night.


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