Sometimes the Universe conspires to plant gentle suggestions in your mind, to nudge you into awareness of some task or change that needs your attention. Sometimes it cuts through the niceties and screams so loud that it’s impossible to ignore.
I met with a group of writers a month ago, and we talked about what a writing community would look like. A few weeks later, I was in the same coffee shop with some of the same writers, all of us having pledged to write for one hour (with no wireless and a self-imposed moratorium on checking my phone).
Do I have time to focus on my own writing for a few hours a week? I guess so. Word! A Eugene Writers Community is the brainchild of Kellee Weinhold, and Shut Up & Write was one of the first hosted events. The idea is simple enough: Kellee and others (myself included) host an hour of writing at certain times of the week at June near downtown Eugene. If you want a nudge to get going, you should try meeting with other writers like this, wherever you are. You could make yourself work for an hour at home (setting an hour glass sometimes works for me), but you wouldn’t have the staccato firing of other keyboards sounding in your ear, urging you to greater productivity. I left the first session feeling as if I’d worked out and had a spa treatment to boot, righteous, cleansed and ready to tackle anything.
That same night, I went Willamette Writers, where Elizabeth Lyon talked about manuscript makeover. HELLO? During my hour of writing I had been working on my nonfiction manuscript (sorely in need of revision), which had been languishing since I became serious about starting Luminare Press. Barely into the talk, I was itching for another hour-long session of writing. Lyons focused on fiction, but everything she said applies to nonfiction (except, of course, the part about making up characters and motivation and stuff like that).
If you’re in Eugene, check the online schedule for Shut Up & Write times and other events. Come on down and revise your manuscript, start a new one, finish a blog post. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.