There is a write-in on Friday for my nanowrimo region. For those that aren’t participating, a write-in is an event where everyone gets together and writes. They generally happen in libraries or other rented spaces. For some people they can be productive and inspiring. For others they can be super distracting. I went to the one last week because I had hit a roadblock in my writing. Nothing was coming out. I originally wasn’t going to go but I figured I can sit at home and get no writing completed or I could go to the write-in and maybe get something done. Turns out I did, in fact, get some writing accomplished. It wasn’t much but the general vibe in the room was enthusiastic and I fed off that. There is also the unspoken peer pressure. When everyone else is writing, you feel like you better be doing the same.
And that’s where the cons of the situation pop up.
At that particular write in, most of the people there knew each other so there was a lot of conversations going on. I don’t mean there were small groups in corners talking quietly. I mean someone would start talking and involve everyone. It’s kind of hard to stay out of a conversation when the person speaking makes eye contact with each person and expects it to be a two way street. I felt guilty when I was the only one not answering. That doesn’t sound terrible right? If the conversation is about writing you might learn something, or have something to teach. Words of encouragement are always a good thing. Too bad that’s not what the subject matter was. There was talk about husbands and jobs. A sprinkling of “what are you doing this weekend” types and…..shoes. You read that correctly, shoes. A 20 minute dissertation about one girls shoes and the problems with them. Another lady talked about learning to walk in heels, and several others added their own tidbits. At one point the conversation changed for 10 minutes. The first girl dragged it back to shoes at the first opportunity. I’ll admit, I’m a bit biased here. I hate shoes. I put on shoes if I have to go somewhere and buying shoes is pure torture for me. I own eight pairs of them and each has a purpose. So sitting there in front of my laptop listening to the pros and cons of wearing heels was no fun. At some point everyone ran out of things to say and silence descended. I put my ear buds in, turn up my hard rock Pandora station and got to work. Eventually I got pulled out of my music and back into another conversation. I had written all I could that night so it was okay.
I went home and at first I was irritated but then I really thought about it. I DID get something accomplished. It’s not like I didn’t know that it would be more of a social event than a true working thing. Yes, the shoe thing threw me off but maybe it helped someone else. Perhaps one of the ladies there now has a character that rocks six-inch heels that become a murder weapon. Also it’s no one else’s fault that I’m not into footwear. So now my dilemma. Going last time really did do something for me, but it also was a big fat distraction. Who knows what the one this week will be like? My tentative plan is if I’m on a roll and seriously pumping out material, I’ll stay home and keep it up. If I’m staring at my screen in horror or catch myself looking up memes, then I’ll go. Write-ins aren’t for everyone, but when you need a little encouragement or some constructive peer pressure, it’s the place to go. Also maybe at this weeks event there will be word sprints or other activities that are helpful. I may have to step up with that. We shall see.
I have two side notes to add. To any shoe lovers out there, I mean no offense and I know I’m weird for a woman. To the shoe girl in my nano region if you ever see this. I’m sorry if this makes you mad. I think you’re really sweet but I hope that conversation never comes up again.