Let’s talk about OUTREACH! After I published my first books in 2016 and stayed active in the writing community I began receiving a lot of the same questions.
How do you make the time to write?
I feel like I’m creative, but I just don’t know where to start?
Oh, I just feel like if I ever let people read my writing, they would judge me and think I was weird or stupid!
The more questions I received the more I became certain that I needed to start something that was creatively and educationally driven. My town is rather small and the writing community is non-existent. I came up with a few ideas and talked to the director of my local library, and that’s how I launched The Write Place.
The idea behind The Write Place in its infancy was to be a place for people who want to write, will make the time by simply by showing up. That way if they committed to coming to each meeting they’d have at least 6 hours of writing completed by years end. Each month we would discuss a topic, always changing it depending on the needs of the group. But like most things you need to tinker with them in order for them to succeed. Our main issue was that people who were trying to find their creativity were struggling to fill the time with work to complete.
The Write Place is now in its toddler years and it’s grown into a place where people who always wanted to write are now writing. Where people who have written a lot but have been stagnant are finding their groove. I am most proud of the fact that it’s a place in my community where writers are meeting and cultivating an environment that they feel open about expressing themselves to people who will truly understand.
Since May of 2018 (when I launched the group) this month’s meeting was the first month that we didn’t have an exercise or prompt to follow. Instead, I told the group to submit something–anything that they were comfortable with us reading. It pulled the members out of their protective shells and they worked on those projects they’d been talking about for so long. We had a non-fiction writer submit the beginning of an educational reference book for teachers, a young man submitted the first few pages of his graphic novel, a talented young woman who is an avid reader but new to writing wowed us with a piece she’d written only 24 hours prior. It was heartwarming to know that the environment that I’ve been cultivating and working hard on is helping so many people get their footing in this creative world. Seeing the light glow in other artists’ eyes is a huge part of this journey for me.
Next month, we’ll be doing a prompt and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! If you’d like to participate along with us let me know.