Kristin Offiler completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University in 2011, and went on to work as a freelance writer and then in communications for a top internet company. In 2017, she shifted her focus to writing full time. She’s currently working on her second novel. Her short fiction has appeared in the Waccamaw Journal and her non-fiction has been published on hellojuno.co. She’s a founding member of a vibrant online writing group and has taught The Story Intensive in the past. You can find her at kristinoffiler.com.
Everyone knows that writing is a solitary act, but I’ve seen the real magic that happens when writers come together. I never underestimate the power of genuine, compassionate support and feedback in my own writing life, and I love fostering that for other writers, too. I don’t think there’s a single creative person in the world whose writing life can’t benefit from being part of an encouraging community.
I learned this firsthand as a student during the first Story Intensive back in 2012. After that, through The Story Course’s Facebook page, I met the members of my writing group, and we’ve workshopped regularly online since 2012 (and have gotten together in person twice!) Without this tight network of fellow writers, I’m not sure I would’ve been as productive over the years as I have been. Instead of getting caught in nets of self-doubt in the midst of a messy draft, I opt to share with my group and allow their support to buoy me back into my writing again and again.
What happens when you step out of the writing cave and gather around with other people doing the same kind of deep creative work? Profound understanding, for one. Writers tend to just get one another. It’s a joy and relief to sit with other writers (whether in person or virtually) and share your words, hear others’ experiences, and bond over a shared love of the written word.
And beyond that, sharing our work is a practice in vulnerability and empathy. We all hope to receive kind, constructive feedback from our readers, and also aim to give that back to our fellow writers. Imagine if all human interaction could be like that! I believe that most writers are essentially after the same thing with their work: we want to tell a great story, connect to our shared humanity, and better understand this experience of life. We may write in isolation, but there’s so much to be said for what happens when we plug into something larger than ourselves. I’m honored to nurture that space for you and your work, wherever you may be in your writing process.