Today is the first Write-In, an idea I had after participating in the National Novel Writing Month challenge in November, and seeing on the chat boards that people assembled on weekends at local restaurants for Write-Ins to progress on their novels. It seemed as though solid writing communities were emerging from these sessions, in addition to people moving closer to achieving their word count goals by setting aside time to write.
Making writing time a priority is a challenge for me, and I know it to be a universal issue for most writers. Even if you don't have small children at home like I do, there are always distractions when you work from home. The dishes need to be washed, the laundry needs to be changed from washer to dryer, the phone rings, a knock is heard at the door, or your e-mail chimes. I wanted to escape those interruptions, even for a day, and see how motivating it could be to get out of my house and write.
I've been to scrapbooking days and retreats, and I found it enjoyable to get into the creative flow, and not be interrupted. There is an energy which develops from a group of people in the same place, pursuing creative accomplishments, and a hum of connectedness which I'm hoping will translate to us as writers.
Writing is a lonely occupation, and I'm looking forward to working on my own projects while in the company of other like-minded individuals. I'm hoping today's Write-In is the first of many, and that they spool out from my small town to other communities. I had a call from a writer in Milwaukee, WI who saw the newspaper article about the Write-In, and wanted more information to organize something similar for her local writer's group. My dream would be to see these kinds of events spread far and wide to connect more writers and provide a chance to avoid distractions and progress in their writing projects.
Another great thing which has come from this event is the chance for me to speak to middle school kids about writing. A school librarian saw the newspaper article and called me to ask if I have spoken in schools. I said, "No, but I'm willing to come, as I might have been further ahead in my writing career if I had been encouraged from an early age." I love the idea of inspiring kids that writing is a valid career path, and speaking about writing is one of my favourite things to do because I feel so passionate about it, so I am excited about this future possibility.
I took a step of faith this week and bought my own name for my URL when I'm ready to develop an author website. First I need some products to discuss on the site, but every day that I write in my novel or memoir, or revise my screenplay, is a day closer to that dream being a reality. I'm working with a local photographer right now for the front and back cover of my blog book, and soon that will be printed and shipped to me, so I can hold my very first book in my hands. It's all ahead of me, and I can see it. I don't need to rush it, but knowing it's there gives me a thrill of excitement.
We all need dreams. They motivate and inspire us to keep going. When we have setbacks, we stop for awhile, but then pick ourselves back up and carry on. The future is brighter when we have something to look forward to, and when we understand that baby steps, one after the other, is what gets us there. Trying new things, like this Write-In, is all part of the process. I can't wait to get to work today, to invest eight hours in myself, and to meet other writers who I might not have met if this day didn't happen. I am looking days, months and years ahead, and I love what I see.