I had an amazing weekend of writing, thanks to my critique group and the amazing community of writers I am so lucky to be a part of. I’ve been planning Writing Hive events each month since last November, and most of them have been dinners. But this month, I thought it would be fun to revisit a field trip I’d taken my middle school creative writing students on a decade ago to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. What better place for a write-in than a museum of inspiring spaces filled with fascinating artifacts and artwork?
I often feel fortunate to live in New York, but I am especially grateful to be able to access so many different places when I want to write beyond my desk at home. I’m a fan of the Met in particular because of how they use space and light to showcase their collections. This is what I find most inspiring when I go there to work on my writing.
This past Saturday, I was convinced I’d be hunting plot bunnies throughout the museum; instead, I found myself returning to a short story that I’ve left unfinished for a few weeks because I wasn’t certain how to proceed with it. The change in environment allowed me to figure out what I needed to write in order to make progress, and now I’m confident that I’ll be able to finish the story by the end of this week.
I love Writing Hive events because they give me a chance to bring together the writers I know, and I get to spend time with friends I otherwise might not get to see. Writers seem to connect in really organic ways, obviously because we all have one big thing in common, but I think also because writing means you must know how to effectively communicate with people who may or may not be just like you. Reaching an audience isn’t all that different from talking with a new person and turning a stranger into a friend, or at the very least a writing buddy for the day.
It’s funny because my writing group always says we should make t-shirts that say, “I hang out with my best friends and we don’t speak to each other,” which is true of large chunks of time during write-ins. We also distract each other a fair bit, and we run challenges by one another so we can get some advice, which is great. I like to think we’re busting apart the cliché of the grumpy, solitary writer locked away in his attic studio, refusing to speak to anyone or disrupt his craft for any reason. Even if it’s just a small gathering to hold everyone accountable in keeping up with a practice of writing regularly, at the end of the day, I believe that community really matters to this process.
After our time at the museum, we joined a NYC NaNoWriMo meet-up hosted by Sara for drinks and more conversations about writing and other fun things. After 12+ hours dedicated to writing and spending time with wonderful people, I came away feeling like I could tackle any challenges the week might bring. That’s something that I value very deeply, especially because I know it will help me write more. All in all, it was a great day of writing events, and I can’t wait for those to come in February.
Until my next post, I wish you adventures in inspiring places with good company,