It has been nearly three weeks since our write-a-thon and we hope that you feel you have developed a steady writing practice. Habits are wonderful things to develop, especially since we can see a tangible result: word-count increase, clarity related to plot or character, or an eager hunger to write above all else.
Accomplishing these things with the support of a
writing community is more than benefiting; it’s comforting. It’s encouraging. It’s important.
The first week of January, I got to spend a weekend at the Rivendell Writers’ Colony in Sewanee, Tennessee for a YA workshop. The retreat was lead by the excellent pair, David Arnold and Jeff Zentner. Between their leadership, seriously killer food and the warm fellowship of other aspiring YA writers, the near freezing temperatures were thawed by the warmth of a weekend of community. It was invigorating. Rejuvenating. (Seriously, I encourage you to schlep down there! GO! NOW!)
While I’ve brought that enthusiasm home as I continue to write two months later, there are days when it is difficult to maintain the same energy I felt when surrounded by others also in a constant creative fervor.
Recently I had another opportunity to hear both author’s discuss their work of at Jeff’s book launch at Parnassus Books in Nashville. When asked about effective writing processes, David proclaimed, “write with urgency.” He did not mean, just write quickly to get it done, but write with a desire for your story, with a need to write.
Of all the things said that evening that is what struck me the hardest. The previous week, I was struggling to make writing my priority and had begun to make excuses not to write when I had the time, or to waste it doing things that could be done later, or not at all (ahem, watching Legion), at least not until I had logged some writing time.
But David’s words kept coming back to be over the past few weeks. I keep them in the back of my mind each time I write. I am so close to finishing the first draft of my novel. Though I am not convinced I would be as close without the sense of community I’ve built around myself and a mostly present urgency to write until my fingers bleed.