Monday, November 8, 2010

Writing in Public

This weekend, I did something I've never done before and, to a certain extent, thought I'd never do -- I went to a write-in.

Now, I never had anything against the idea of write-ins. Actually, I thought they sounded quite fun. I loved the idea of meeting other writers and feeding inspiration off each other.

My issue: I can't write in public.

Well, it's not that I can't so much as it makes me really uncomfortable, twitchy uncomfortable. I've found trains to be a really productive place to write. Enclosed space with nowhere to go and not much to do but work. Definitely a Butt In Chair situation. But when other people sit next to me, I get uncomfortable. I always get this strange feeling that they're going to look over my shoulder, see what I'm doing, and think I'm crazy. I guess it's an unfortunate side effect of growing up with siblings, you're always preparing for someone to look over your shoulder.

But I really enjoyed the write-in. I met a bunch of writers really close to where I live. Good fun, good jokes. Besides, despite my twitchy feeling that someone might see what I was doing, I got a hecka lot of words written for NaNoWriMo. So, write-ins are definitely successful. Plus, meeting a goal is a lot of more fun when there are other people around to join in the happy-dancing.

So, if you can, I recommend attending any write-ins in your area. Maybe you can even start one if there aren't any nearby. Ours wasn't an official NaNo event, just a bunch of NaNoers in proximity to each other who wanted to do a write-in. Write-ins rock. Writers rock. We are awesomeness.

Rock on!

Have you ever participated in a write-in? Why/why not? Are there any places you don't feel comfortable writing?


  1. I haven't participated in a write-in since college and we didn't get much writing done, let me tell you.

    I don't know if I could do it now or not. I need to be absolutely quiet to get stuff down on paper. And if there was someone to talk to, well, you know how I love to talk.

    I think I can write anywhere, without people.

  2. I can't write in public either. I've tried to. Like in waiting rooms at doctors' offices, etc. I get a few sentences in, but they usually stink.

  3. Funnily enough, I get the same twitchy feeling when I'm writing at home. Since my back is to the door, and I often write with headphones on, I always stress about my mom/sis walking in on me and wanting to know what I'm writing. Can't they understand that it's an early draft and I don't even know half of the time?

    I actually love writing at the library or bookstore. Both are usually quiet, and I figure that people would be fairly receptive/respective of writers there. Too bad there aren't any 24-hour places like that!

  4. That does sound like a lot of fun! Not many opportunities where I live to do that sort of thing though. :(

  5. Anne -- I know how that can be. Other people can be very useful writing distractions.

    Susan -- I know that pain.

    Vicki -- Oh, I don't think I'd ever be able to blurt out what I'm writing halfway through. It'd feel too awkward. You're right. That might change things.

    DL -- I'm sorry. I hope you get the chance to try it some day.