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How To…

Go after it with a club:

  1. How to have a mini creation workshop
  2. How to have a write-in (or create-in)

How to have a mini creation workshop:

  1. Pick a place where you will be uninterrupted. For maximum creativity, make this a place where you don’t normally work. Do you always write in your office or kitchen? Get out of the house. Do you always go to the coffee shop? Try the park or library.
  2. Choose 1 theory book or magazine and bring 1 notebook that does NOT contain your current work. Bring other utensils (markers, pencils, pens, paints) and/or laptop, but know that you will start with your notebook.
  3. Block off two to four hours. Not so long you need a food break, not so short you won’t have time to relax and create.
  4. On location, start with ten minutes reading your theory book or magazine. If I am working on a prose novel, I like to bring In the Palm of Your Hand by Steve Kowit, a poetry guidebook. Try using a theory book or magazine that will stretch you in a different direction than your normal work.
  5. Now take ten to twenty minutes and play. Using your notebook, sketch, free write, or try an exercise recommended in your theory book or magazine. The goal is to stretch yourself and work creative muscles that haven’t been exercised in your current work.
  6. Take a ten minute break. Don’t get up! Brainstorm new works inspired by your play time or play with a knot in your current work. You could try making five different endings for your novel or practice your character’s voice.
  7. Either repeat or open your laptop and take a whack at your current work.

 


Have a write-in or create-in:

  1. You will need at least one other writer. I know it says writer, but honestly, you can use any other creator as long as both of you fit in one room or area. You will also need your laptop, snacks and drinks if none are provided by your chosen venue, and your chosen venue.
  2. Choose your venue wisely. If you are meeting or have invited complete strangers, make sure parking is available and that the venue and bathrooms are handicap accessible. Make sure bathrooms are available. Have outlets and powerstrips ready. Someone should have a timer if you plan to WAR. If you are meeting in a public space, ensure that you can adhere to the rules of your venue. Is it a library? You want a quiet room so you don’t disturb the other patrons. Is it a coffee shop? Everyone in your group must be prepared to purchase 1 drink per hour. Tip.
  3. Plan for roughly two hours of creativity time.
  4. At the venue, 1 person should be in charge. Don’t let the power go to your head, you are merely a minder of very creative folk for the write-in time period. This means drawing conversation back to creative topics, reminding people to WAR appropriately, keeping track of time during WAR and being encouraging to others no matter what their results of WAR are.
  5. How to WAR: at a write-in, a wordWAR is typically twenty minutes, though it can be anywhere from 10-30 minutes. 60 minutes is tortuous, but sometimes it’s good to suffer for your art. The goal is to get as many words as possible on the page when confined by a very immediate and ridiculous deadline. You have no time to listen to your inner editor. Write.
  6. You can WAR with other media, though I have not personally participated in WAR outside of wordWARs. The general guideline is that you have anywhere from 10-30 minutes to madly create without restriction. You are creating in a social atmosphere, but this is not time for talking, this is time for WAR. Create responsibly.
  7. At the end of your write-in or create-in, remember to check your area for your things. If you are holding your event in a public venue, make sure it is as it was when you entered, if not better. If you are holding your event at your home, make sure everyone who is supposed leaves does so at a reasonable time. Good luck!