What a kettle of hawks and a group of writers have in common

Posted: October 28, 2013 in General
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The other day I saw a kettle of hawks.

This was a thing I didn’t even know existed. As many people are aware, hawks are fairly solitary creatures. There are obviously variations between different species, but on the whole, hawks usually only come together to mate. But sometimes they come together to migrate, too.

This is called a kettle. A kettle of hawks can contain hundreds, even thousands of hawks. The one I saw was about fifty-strong, and looked a lot like this.

We could tell they were hawks because of the way they were flying and because we could just barely make out their brown feathers.

I was kind of blown away. It felt majestic, like I was witnessing something few people have seen. I doubt that’s true, but this group of hawks really struck me in a certain way. Here we have these creatures that would much prefer to hunt and fly alone, coming together to migrate south.

According to this article, hawks flock together in order to find warm air currents (thermals) that can make their trip south — which often constitutes thousands of miles — that much easier.

Naturally, this made me think of writers.

Writers are solitary creatures. At the very least, we prefer to work alone. Others (like me) prefer to be alone even when we’re not writing. This is not a bad quality — the hawks can attest to that — and is nothing to be ashamed of.

But sometimes we need help, just like the hawks trying to find their way to a warmer climate. Writers need email buddies, sounding boards, and shoulders to cry on. They need Twitter followers and Facebook friends and blog readers.

And that’s what’s great about the writing community, and the WANA community that Kristen Lamb has set up. We can be solitary whenever we want. We can hunt and fly on our own, but when we need someone to lead us in the right direction, there will be a whole group waiting in the wings for us.

In fact, I think we should start calling a group of writers a “kettle” of writers. It sounds more than appropriate, don’t you think?

  1. Sounds good to me. Kettle it is!

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