I think it’s time to tell you…I have a milestone birthday coming up in exactly two months.
And like any true blue ENFP I have been thinking about the implications of it since my last birthday.
One of the ways I wanted to head into my 30th year was to add more creativity and intention to my life. So I embarked on a journey of 30 Creative Pursuits for My 30th Year.
The whole thing is well under way as I’ve only got two months left, but today I wanted to share with you what has been one of the most meaningful and impactful items on the list.
#27 Start some sort of writing, creativity, thinkers or reading club (meet at least once)
hey, don’t judge my ‘meet at least once’ goal—I was trying to make it attainable :-)
Last fall I started a book group and together we read through Julia Cameron’s book, the Artist’s Way. Now this particular group happened to be centered on reading a book together, but I think groups that are meant to simply share what your current challenges are in your work or get feedback on your writing or to pursue various creative pursuits together are all highly valuable. I would like one of each please!
For our group, the book choice was great because the chapters were short, it was very action-oriented and it was already organized into a 12-week study.
But more than the choice of book, the choice to pursue reading a book with some women who challenge me was even greater.
5 reasons I encourage you to make your own writing/creativity/thinkers/reading group
1. Connecting with like-minded people. Putting an intentional group together to discuss a book or another given topic is a refreshing experience. In the case of my book group, while I didn’t run into all the people in my group in my regular circles, I knew there was a kindredness of spirit there. It was really rewarding to spend time around a table discussing something we jointly cared about and were interested in.
2. Accountability. Knowing that I would be seeing my book group again in two weeks made me stay on schedule with my reading. When I’m reading a book on my own it feels pretty “optional” but knowing that my group would be gathering soon to discuss this week’s reading served as great accountability to get it done.
3. Your thinking is challenged. While my group was filled with like-minded people it was also filled with opinions, perspectives and backgrounds that differed greatly from my own. It was a wonderful reminder that two people can read the same text and feel completely differently about it. A meeting of the minds is challenging and gets you thinking more critically.
4. Intentional conversation. When meeting up with friends it’s so easy to let conversation focus on the latest headlines of our lives and not go to a deeper place. With the right book or subject matter to discuss, conversations go deeper and you actually might get to know your friends on a deeper level than you would have without it.
5. Reading is richer when it’s a shared experience. My experience working my way through the Artist’s Way was so much better because I got to not only interact with the book by doing exercises and writing a ton, but also because I got to discuss it with my fellow readers. We talked about what resonated with us in the book and our reactions to the reading. It really created a bond and made me closer to the people in my group.
Maybe it’s because I work from home (alone) most of the day or maybe it’s because I’m an extrovert but this reading group really enhanced the quality of my life. I’m already mulling on my next book group.
Do you have a book/great minds/writing/thinkers group? I want to hear ALL about it.