Friday, July 24, 2009

A Look at “Friday Night Writes” with a Lord of the Rings Twist!

Writing is often an isolating hobby. We hunker down in strange locations, clutching our laptops or notebooks as we escape into the uncharted realms of our imagination. In a way, we become Gollum from Lord of the Rings with our own “precious”.

In early June, something extraordinary happened on the OPWFT thread. After all lamenting how we needed a gentle butt kicking to get ourselves in gear to write, we decided to unite forces—to become a fellowship of writers, so to speak. And from that moment, the creative juices flowed like honey into a melting pot of different WIPS.

And how did this feat work? Well, we decided that we’d all start writing at a set time. Then the suggestion was made about posting snippets from the work we accomplished. That evolved into an hour long writing segment where we would pause to wipe our feverish brows and submit snippets on the thread. There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment, and even if you churned out only two hundred words in that hour period, you felt like you’d made it to the mountaintop.

Once you posted your snippet, you began reading and critiquing the other snippets. As one of the original participators, I can’t describe what an awesome experience it was. All writers need encouragement, and there was nothing like getting that awesome feedback. It was a true pick me up.

Well, after that awe-inspiring night, it was debated whether we should do it the following week. Then I, being a total movie nerd, thought about coining it “Friday Night Writes” kinda like Friday Night Lights…the movie and television show. And thus, Friday Night Writes/or Friday Nite Writes was born.

Participating in FNW was invaluable while I was writing my latest YA Contemporary, Don’t Hate the Playa. I cherished all the comments that were made, and when I would think I couldn’t go on, I’d think back to all the wonderful encouragement and I’d push on. The gals were truly Sam to my Frodo, helping me make it through.

Since our original thread posting, we moved over to the SYW, or Share Your Work, forum on Absolute Write that is password protected. It also had other benefits because new people, who didn’t post on our thread, started posting as well. Eventually, it became more of a “Every Night Writes” as more and more people drew on the strength in numbers vibe! Now, the Twifties, or Teens Writing for Teens, started a Middle of the Day Writes since they needed earlier writing hours.

So in closing, writing a novel is hard. It’s one of the hardest journeys I’ve ever been on. To draw on my Lord of the Rings analogy once again, I’ve climbed to the top of Mount Doom three times now, and the climb doesn’t get easier.

But you don’t have to go it alone. There are people waiting to support you and give you the encouragement to see you through.

So, if you’re itching to do a little writing, stop on by the SYW forum for FNW or MNW—we look forward to seeing you there!

Original post published on Old People Writing for Teens by GotYA contributor Krista Ashe. To view the original post and reader comments, please click here.

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