Writing is often a lone venture and for the most part I’m fine with that. I actually embrace and enjoy the isolation.
There are days when my energy wanes and my enthusiasm for seeking out the muse is not only lacking but darn right MIA.
A saving grace can be a WRITE-IN.
What does that mean though?
Simply put, it’s about gathering with like-minded individuals to bask in a shared energy of creativity and effort toward achievement.
That’s all just a fancy way to say you get together in a room with other writers, you write, and because you don’t want to be the only one not writing, you write more. And what happens when you write? Yup, you guessed it–words get on the page and magic will begin to spill out. It can get you out of a writing funk or inject enthusiasm into your current writing project.
How exciting is that?! I know, right?
Before covid–how many flippin’ times do you say that everyday?–ugh! I digress. Prior to the current world pandemic I used to meet with a group of writers at a local Starbucks. We motored along really well until the store hours changed, chairs became scarce, and before you know it–it fell apart.
Many are now doing write-ins online. Not quite the same experience but you do what you have to do.
So here are some things you’ll want to think about when you arrange your Write-In.
Set a time and day that works for you.
If you’re the organizer you get that privilege (It can always be changed if necessary–nothing is set in stone). Choose a time that isn’t too late in the day or too early…
Not everyone will be able to make it and that’s okay.
If you meet twice a month at the same time and place that would be incredible. Weekly even better. You can make it part of your routine–remember to physically distance and wear a mask.
If you’re meeting on zoom(or whatever) make sure everyone has the password and time. It’ll be important to tell people to arrive on time because you won’t want those disruptions of someone joining the group after everyone is already writing.
Chose the location.
There should be tables, a place to plug in, a bathroom, and hopefully the all-blessed drink of coffee. Keep it as neutral as possible.
Don’t host an in-person write-in at home. You’d have to clean up before hand or prepare snacks and such–that’s way too much work.
A coffee shop or park always works well and people can either purchase or bring what they need or want.
If you’re doing it online then set out the rules and go for it.
I encourage head phones.
I like to wear headphones even if I’m not listening to music. For me it’s simply a way to block out the noise or let people know I’m in a different head space.
During a Write-In some like to change things up and use pen and paper. Many experts say it uses a different part of the brain so may be a good creative exercise. For me it depends on what kind of writing I’m doing. If I’m starting something new I’ll often use the laptop but if I’ve been struggling with a scene or character a pen and paper can get me thinking in a different direction.
Basically, it doesn’t matter what tools you use, you’re there to write.
Two hours is plenty long enough.
It usually takes me the first fifteen minutes to get my butt comfy in the chair (I often take a pillow for my delicate derrière) and get a sense of rhythm going.
I find two hours enough but it’s not a hard and fast rule. If you go longer, or shorter, it’s no big deal.
Ensure everyone has a list of rules.
- No talking
2. No gossiping
3. No chit chat
4. Just sit down, shut up and write.
Simple as that.
This is not a social call ….if you wanna do lunch after then fine but make the arrangements before hand.
A Write-In is all about the energy and the writing–if you feel it necessary to discuss something, step away from the table and out of earshot.
Just do it. They’re like magic.
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