Writing Accountability #TBIthursday

Yesterday I participated in a virtual “write-in” with 9 other writers. I found it on meetup.com and it happened on Zoom for one hour. It was organized by a local group and happens weekly for exactly one hour where the overall goal was to just be present and write.

I had a few objectives going into it. I would like to tell you about my objectives and if they were met in this writing update for #TBIthursday.

A few weeks ago I attended another free session on writing held on Zoom that I found on meetup.com. You can keyword search by interests and location to find events happening that would interest you (on meetup.com). I am interested in writing groups so that is the first thing I searched. The other session I attended was a memoirist giving advice on writing memoir. I decided I wanted to find more free groups to attend virtually in order to inspire me to write. That’s when I found this group. They meet weekly and I do plan to join them as often as I can. I decided to plan ahead of time what I was going to write so that the hour writing session was dedicated purely to writing. I shared a few blogs ago that I am using a drawing journal and a visual outline/mind map to help me organize my thoughts and generate content for my memoir. So I chose one of those sections and wrote on it for the hour.

Objectives I had for the Write-In

My Check List of write-in objectives.

Objectives Met?

  • “Establish an easy pattern for writing the sections of my visual outline.”—> Yes! I am very pleased with how I came up with writing each section of the outline separately. I will eventually need to spend time connecting all the parts together but that should be a natural fit for the editing process.
  • “Establish a clear and consistent voice.”—> This was really more “maintain” a clear and consistent voice since I am further along in my writing than just “establishing” a voice and tone. However, in the section I wrote during this time it was easy to maintain the established voice because I am writing in a very natural voice.
  • “Establish a pattern for these virtual write-ins so each one I attend produces improved results.”—> I think by planning ahead of time what I was going to write and choosing one section of my visual outline it made it so it was easy for me to fit my writing into this hour session.
  • “Flesh out one of the ‘arms’ of my visual outline.”—> I wrote on one of the sections of the outline called “Core Issue #2” and I wrote about my hearing loss after TBI.
  • “Meet other writers.”—> This wasn’t really what this write-in was about. We didn’t talk to each other because the focus was on producing writing. I will have to look for another group where I can meet and talk with other writers.

What I learned

This format works really well for me. I had attended physical write-ins before my TBI and I wasn’t sure if now with the TBI I could be focused for an extended period of time and achieve meaningful results. I was pleased to find out that the write-in format works almost better post-TBI because I am so driven to tell my story. One thing I wasted a few minutes figuring out was that I need to be comfortable and I am faster typing on my iPad. I started out the session at my desk writing on my laptop but I soon realized that I needed to switch to my iPad and sitting in a comfortable chair. I set my laptop up on a table by the comfortable chair in my bedroom and positioned it so the webcam/Zoom camera was on me as I sat in my recliner and wrote on my iPad. I used to be a fast typist before the accident but now I am not and have gotten faster at typing on my iPad. Now I know that the next write-in needs to happen on my iPad in a comfortable chair. I won’t be able to participate in next week’s write-in but I am excited to make it a weekly thing.

I will need to continue writing the section I started during the write-in, but I pretty much knew I wouldn’t finish the section in this hour period. Hopefully the more often I do events like this I will start to be able to produce much more content. I am excited to use the rest of this month and next month generating content so I can get to editing during this November’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This is perhaps an ambitious goal but I really want to get to a point where I finish this gosh darn thing!!

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