The Burlington Writers Club sustained through the pandemic when many businesses and organizations did not. There are practical reasons for this: we had a small overhead, and we quickly pivoted our in-person meetings to Zoom. But there is more to it than practicality. Writers need other writers. BWC experienced this need when membership in the club grew during our 2021-22-year. I like to think the pandemic renewed commitment to finishing that novel or sparked someone to write poetry for the first time. Joining a group, such as BWC, is a step toward building a writing life.
Sixteen years ago, I declared, “I’m a poet,” at a social function. I was meeting new people and took the opportunity to speak my hidden truth. I had yet to publish a single poem, but I have never believed that publication makes a writer. A published writer, yes. But once you commit to expressing your thoughts, stories, ideas, and emotions through the written word, that is when you begin to see yourself in a new light. It is when you and writing begin to shape one another. And it is why BWC has existed for over 65 years. We believe in the study and practice of writing, as our mission states, and we believe that everyone is welcome at the table, from diary writers to published writers.
Thanks to the club’s previous leadership, BWC not only survived the pandemic, but we are also poised to thrive. Our growth in membership demonstrates writing is alive and well in Alamance County (and beyond). My hope is that BWC continues to inspire writers at all levels. Writing is a solo act. Being a writer does not have to be.