Who Says Writing Has to be a Lonely Venture?
by Chanah Leora Wizenberg
Have you always wanted to write? Did you stop writing and want to get back into it? Are you writing now but feeling too lonely and isolated? Has procrastination taken over?
Is your inner critic running the show? Are thoughts like,” I want to write but..”I don’t have time,” “I have young kids,” “I have older kids.” “Work, chores, cooking dinner, running the house,” Or, “I don’t know what to write about,” “I don’t know if I can write.” and, “There is no money in it.” That list can go on and on keeping you on that hamster wheel. You know, all you have to do is stop and get off.
Let me ask you something. Do you make time to watch your favorite tv show? Do you make time to work out? How about eating? Maybe even, sitting down with your family to enjoy your meal? I bet you make time to take your shower every day and my personal favorite, do you take the time to have your coffee in the morning? Well, if you can make time for these things in addition to the other things you have to do you can make time to carve out 10 minutes of your day to write, maybe even 15 20 minutes!
Writing has not been the priority. If you are stuck in excuse aka procrastination land of, I will write when....you will never write!
For me, procrastination translates to fear. In the past, I have been too chicken to get down to writing on a regular basis. In fits and starts, I did great. Eventually, I had to ask myself, do I want to write? Or do I just like the idea? That was a hard question as I have dreamed of being a writer all of my life. But that ugly beast, procrastination, took hold early! I can remember telling myself at age 6 I would have to wait til I grew up and could sit still in a chair before I could write.
Anyway, after asking myself the hard question.I had to look at myself long and hard. Writing had not been my priority either. Watching my favorite shows had been my priority. Getting together with my friends had been my priority and swimming had been my priority. But writing? Nope. Living with Fibro and CF gave me the perfect excuse-ugh too achy, too tired, and the Fibro Fog! True these health issues wreak havoc but if I want to do something I planned for it. I rested up, stayed home more to conserve energy, made sure I had slept enough. If I could plan for those activities, I could plan my writing. I had to make writing my priority. No more procrastinating. As soon as I made that decision, a sort of sadness filled me. Everything got a little dark and gloomy. I did a full body check in, head to toe. My head felt foggy, my muscles achy and fatigued, my heart heavy. Loneliness, this was loneliness.
The prospect of writing every day all by my lonesome as my dad would say, made me feel sad and lonely. I thought about it for awhile. I had been thinking of starting a FB group but hadn’t known what to do. Now I did, a group for writers. An interactive group. A productive group where we would encourage and motivate one another. I certainly have the experience. I have a degree in English and creative writing from Hunter College in New York (CUNY) with a minor in Secondary Education. I taught reading and writing for what felt like forever and facilitated many writing workshops after I became certified in the AWA method (Amherst, Artists & Writers) developed by Patricia Schneider, and I have had my work published. And then there was last year. Some friends of mine got together 2-3 times a week to have fabulous writing marathons online via Google Hangout. We all completed our projects or at least the first draft. Now that I am taking my writing seriously, at 56 (better late than never) I have a plan.
It took coming to North Carolina for me to become serious my writing, and no wonder. It 2005 I moved down here for the second time, from up North, and this time, it would be to stay. I fell in love with NC.
The area is teaming with creative highly intelligent people. There are artists, actors, filmmakers, theater people, musicians, and of course writers. Did you know there were so many successful writers that came from NC there is a literary map of the state? Isn’t that fabulous. Perhaps that will be next weeks topic.
Anyway, but there was one thing I found challenging and that was finding a sacred, non-judging, constructive space for writing and when the time comes, critiquing. I have tried several critiques groups and writing groups, but none were a good fit for me.
Not one to give up. I remembered one of my favorite quotes. “Build it and they will come.” (Do you know what movie that is from? Send me an email, voicemail, or pm and you can enter my first contest) And that is how I came to start the Pen Wize podcast, my blog, and the Facebook Group, of the same name, Pen Wize. I need and want to be around other writers who are going to write. Who are ready to get back to writing and want to be supported by others who don’t always want to write all alone and isolated. After all, we are social beings and I, for one, have been far too isolated. How about you? Are you ready? Are you ready for me?
I am ready for you. Those of you who are soon to be born writers, current writers seeking a supportive community, and the returning writers! All of you have the same desire, to WRITE, complete your projects, maybe even publish.
Pen Wize will be a community of productive authors. It will be a safe zone, with no harsh judgments, where everyone is respected, and encouraged. When ready there will be critiquing. Don’t know how? Uncertain about it? No worries, I will hold pieces of training before we do that.
I have high expectations when it comes to productive writing and later, professional expectations for critiquing. I learned how to do these things at Hunter, years of teaching writing and reading, and earning my certificate of training in the Amherst Writers & Artist (AMA) method of facilitating writing workshops.
Are you wondering about the lonely solitary life of the writer? The FB group is a closed group for you to join. It is closed to protect our privacy but is it easy to join. I will vet you by checking your FB pages and perhaps some follow-up questions. But, as long as you follow the guidelines, you will be welcome.
There will be write-ins as well. I will be posting in the FB Group, the schedule for these. They will be done via Google Hangout or another online webinar like service. These are great for getting the workout. We write, take small breaks for help if stuck or a bit of feedback and take breaks for snacks at the same time to have a little social time.
There is no need in the 21 Century, with the technology we have, to be lonely writers.
So, If you have been waiting for some help to get started writing (whether it be creative writing, memoir, mystery, poetry, freelance or non-fiction) to get back to writing, or to continue with you writing, you have found the place. I promise you will be encouraged, supported, and loved. You will not be judged, harshly criticized or ridiculed.