My slice from last Tuesday and all the heartfelt responses had me reflecting on how real this virtual community is. I have written about this before, but it bears repeating.
Here is a definition I discovered when searching online dictionaries for a definition of community:
the feeling that you belong to a group and that this is a good thing
Long-time slicers really have no need of a definition for community, nor do they wonder if this is a real community. Those who are new might be wondering if a group of people interacting online could actually provide true community. With the March challenge just around the corner, I want to make sure that those who are thinking about joining in know what a special and unique community this is, and how I feel (and you will, too) that belonging to it is a good thing.
Last week I wrote about an unexpected death in the family. Members of this community who responded all offered sincere condolences and sympathy. I was promised thoughts and prayers, and even tears. I deeply appreciated these words of comfort.
While the story was sad, many encouraged me by affirming the positives that were also part of the story. Some identified with me by sharing their similar experiences. Some said it reminded them of what is important in life. I found it all to be supportive, and I am glad that as we share, we discover common bonds.
Since we are a writing community, there were also comments focused on the writing. I was thanked by many for sharing my story. That makes me feel grateful. More than one commenter spoke of the difficulty of writing this kind of story, and the comments made me feel that those who read it understood the feelings I tried to convey, what I tried to show, not just tell. More than one person zeroed in on something that was especially meaningful to me.
I want to thank all who sent me replies last week. Your words are treasured. I know that most of us sometimes wonder if we belong in a community of writers, question whether we are really writers. But I want to say that our interactions with each other in this community develop such a feeling of acceptance and encouragement, that I have come to feel I do belong. And that is a very good thing!