I’m working on a short story collection. Correction, I was working on a short story collection. It stalled. It’s not unusual. In fact, most writers can regale a crowd with tales of self-torture throughout the writing process. I haven’t officially abandoned anything yet. Rather, I’m taking a moment to allow inspiration to strike, and searching for it in every crack and crevice I stumble across.
The other night I hosted a fika, my first live fika actually. It was enlivening. I sat in a room with fellow writers and we gave ourselves permission to unleash. We spoke about our frustrations, fears, and general experiences. There was no script or agenda. We came together out of pure interest and investment in the belief that we have something to share.
This fika was a gift. It came at a time where reassurance and rejuvenation were much needed.
Strangers become peers if we allow engagement opportunities. I love losing myself in someone else’s story. I like finding myself in their pits and peaks. I am convinced that we yearn to connect but lack the time and quietness to allow it to happen consistently. The latter is key.
Immediately after coming home from fika I felt compelled to write. I let the words pour out of me and it was the most productive and powerful experience I’ve had to date.
Lately, I’ve been putting myself out there. I’m not sure if vulnerability and comfort are supposed to go hand-in-hand. Listen, it’s tough exposing yourself. With this noted, I like what I gain and how I grow when I make an effort to wander with wonder.
So here’s my call for the curious case of connection. Find someone to talk to and let that initial conversation be the start of something special.
For my latest experiment, I’ve gone no further than the beloved and bewitching tradition of Facebook stalking. Seriously, have you ever wondered about your ‘friend’ list? There are people I am connected to via social media that I haven’t spoken to in years. Moreover, aside from our presence on each other’s friend list, we know nothing about one another. It’s time for me to reacquaint myself with them. There’s a story out there in the land of emojis, status updates, and photo albums. I’m certain I’ll find it.
But there’s also a story right next to me. I beg my husband to share his childhood memories. When he escorts me down his memory lane I’m granted glimpses into situations, people, and places that shaped the man I know today. His story before me is just as important as what followed and has yet to come.
A connection is a curious thing. I’m here seeking something more and in doing so unearthing stories that make my own writing process that much more productive. Because whether it’s family or Facebook, there’s more to discover and dive into.
Are you ready to fika?