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Friday, August 23, 2013

Why Attend a "Write Time" when Nobody Talks?


Why Attend A “Write Time” When Nobody Talks?

I went to Cedar Roe Library in Roeland Park, Kansas, from 10:30 to noon recently.  I sat at a table with other people and typed.  There were four tables of people typing, and not talking.  When I got home my wife asked, “How did it go?” I answered. “It went well.”  She then asked, “If nobody talks, why even attend?”

I will attempt to answer that question.  Um.  I know I can sit in my “man cave” by myself and write. I can. I do. It works.

But it is also works to sit in a room with others who are also writing and not talk to them. Organizer Nancy Pickard compares this to “parallel play.” Child development specialists have observed that between roughly 10 to 17 months of age infants start watching other infants playing near them although the infants do not interact. This is a precursor to and a step toward, interactive play - sharing, negotiating and responding to others.

It’s nice to see that others interact with the voices in their heads and work, even though from the outside it may not seem like work at all. There is something emotionally supportive about being in a room with other writers and writing.  It may be true for other art forms too. I’m not sure.  But although writing involves a great deal of “inside the head work” it also requires interaction with others.

Sometimes it is a quiet interaction when the sounds of keys clicking and pens scratching is almost musical.

Does it make sense to you?

Note: I will still be on the other side of the world on safari in Tanzania when this blog goes up. I will read the comments when I return.

3 comments:

Gloria Alden said...

We all have our comfort zones for writing. It's one of the things that makes us unique. Myself, I prefer to write in the environs of my home, but I know lots of people like to write in libraries, cafes or on trains. It's what works for you, Warren.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Warren, I appreciate this perspective. Several of these have taken place in my area, and I've wondered how they work and how productive they are. This helps explain. Thanks.

Kara Cerise said...

I'm more productive when I'm working with other people. When I see someone immersed in writing, it motivates me to do the same.