None of Us is in this Thing Alone
by Sue Wurster
A great many of our BOLLI members have been exploring new avenues of expression since arriving at 60 Turner Street. Writing and photography classes have been fully subscribed, and our Special Interest Groups in these areas have offered additional venues for creative endeavor as well. Wonderful work has come from these sources which has, in some cases, actually been something of a surprise to the artists and writers themselves!
I know that’s true–because that’s what happened to me.
When I first joined BOLLI, I signed up to take Betsy Campbell’s “Five Short Stories in Five Weeks” writing course and got really nervous. While I had always toyed with writing and had always dreamed of being published one day, I had never actually finished anything. So, I figured this was going to be one last shot–if I couldn’t finish one story, much less five, I was going to just bag the whole thing.
To my delight, when the course ended, I found that I had actually finished not one but five short pieces. I was thrilled! But what had made the difference, I wondered. Why had I finally been able to actually finish something after decades of not having been able to do so. The answer was actually an easy one: the class. And I don’t mean the class content (although that was fun). I mean the class members and instructor.
You see, in that class, we read our work out loud. Every week. And the class and instructor made comments. The group made excellent observations and suggestions. The strengths that we noted in each other’s pieces helped each of us to strengthen our own. None of us, I realized, was in this thing alone.
But when it comes to the Journal, we don’t have that kind of support, do we? Well, actually, yes, we do.
This year, we have decided to operate in a somewhat different way. Our editors will be reading and viewing work all along the way. They will offer suggestions that they feel will strengthen the work and provide you with an opportunity to revise and resubmit it if you choose to do so. Clearly, this applies more to literary work than visual art–but when it comes to images of your paintings, mosaics, furniture, sculpture, and the like, they may be able to help you show off those pieces in an even more positive light.
We hope that, by working with our writers and artists in this way, more of our BOLLI members will experience the satisfaction of seeing their items in print.
After all, none of us is in this thing alone!
It’s hard to believe that this is already my fourth year at BOLLI–it’s been quite a ride!