Tonight, I'll be heading to my local Barnes & Noble bookstore for one of my favorite monthly events: Write-O-Rama. Okay, I admit. I'm biased. I came up with Write-O-Rama so of course it's a favorite for me. It's like asking me if I favor my own kids over some stranger's child. (Confession: Sometimes I prefer a stranger's child, particularly because the stranger's child isn't in my house. But don't tell my kids I said that.)
"What is Write-O-Rama?" you ask.
It's an event open to writers of all genres and all skill levels. Once a month (sometimes twice a month), we meet in a central location for all things writing-related: brainstorming, critiquing, discussing the publishing business, sharing of information, and just connecting with other writers. We take over the couches in our local bookstore or book a meeting room at the local library and invite the public in to meet us, share their own writing experiences with us, and write with us.
We've heard the adage lots of times: Writing is a solitary business. And we all know those strange glazed-eye looks we get from non-writer friends and family when we complain that our characters just won't do what we want them to, that our pacing has slowed to a crawl, that we need a better conflict. Face it, a non-writer will never understand why plot bunnies keep you up at night, why you need another baby name book even though your kids are in college, and why the first item you'd save from a burning building would be your laptop.
Write-O-Rama changes all that. Write-O-Rama offers all writers the opportunity to get out of the house and away from daily distractions to meet other people who think the way you do. Share your frustration about coming up with just the right title. Write that latest chapter, surrounded by others who are also struggling with that next line, next page, next idea.
Over the years I've hosted Write-O-Rama, I've met poets, songwriters, students, and homemakers. We've shared coffee, excerpts, and laughs. And these evenings have helped me continue to write when a block looms on the horizon. It's a great way to spend a few hours. Don't have a Write-O-Rama near you? Start one! All it takes is a phone call or two to reserve some space. Who knows? The next great writer (of novels, cookbooks, or songs) could be looking for a place to put their genius on paper.