We all need a place to stretch our wings and give ourselves permission to be vulnerable and create. It might be a specific location that feeds us. It might be time eked out from our busy lives. It might just be a state of mind – a stillness that allows creativity to flourish. We all suffer from insecurities and doubts. Sometimes all we need to find is like-minded souls who understand our need to ‘make’ and support and applaud that effort.

For me, I need other artist/writer friends who I can bounce ideas off of, be inspired by and sometimes, just be around. These people energize, replenish and confirm, encouraging me to continue to leap into the unknown. I am talking about you Pugwash Artist Collective, Diane Wile Brumm, Shannon Bell, Barbara Muir, Susan Atkinson and so many more!

This need for a safe environment to write or explore other ways to express ourselves applies to every age. And it is one of the reasons my friends, Rita Wilson, Helen Castonguay, and I created the Writing on Fire programs for youth on the North Shore of Nova Scotia. Participants consistently say how happy they are to meet other teens and mentors who are interested in the same things they are, who understand their need to create, who don’t judge, who support, who give them room to make mistakes. Oh, the power of it!

ArtJam! 2019, Thinkers Lodge Pugwash – with Mentors Sue Goyette and Amanda Gillis.
And then this!