I just saw a quote from Walt Disney on a friend’s Facebook page: The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
So much wisdom is so simple. Simple, but not easy. My last post here was over 2 months ago! That sounds so much longer than it seems to me; so much has happened in those 2 months, that chunk of past time is like a blur. The “doing” part of my life has had very little to “do” with writing, and more to do with being a parent helping a daughter prepare for college. Her departure is now just a little over a week away.
Not surprisingly, my focus has begun to shift back to writing, to the “plan” for achieving “the goals” I have set for myself. Certainly, step 1 is to “begin doing.”
To that end, I am considering launching a new site, and it’s an endeavor that has been over ten years in the making. Let me explain how a new site might help me (and you) begin doing …
I happen to live in an area that is rife with writers. These writers are not only talented, but are generous with their time, their insights, and their knowledge. As one of these talented writers once said to me, “None of us do this work alone.” When I first realized what a wealth of talent and resources existed around me, I began to explore the idea of what I labeled a “Writers’ Energy Exchange.”
In my mind’s eye, it was a physical location where writers could meet informally to work and to assist one another. Most of us have trusted groups to which we belong, and to whom we can take drafts of poems or whatever we are writing and get some good feedback. My two poetry groups have been essential for me in my work. However, I have always thought it would be great to have that kind of feedback on a more spontaneous basis. “Workshopping” someone else’s stuff is such a two-way street: when I am given the opportunity to review someone else’s work, even in draft form, invariably I am inspired to work harder and better.
“If we only had a space,” I thought to myself. If it were the right kind of space, it could host readings and workshops and book signings – I saw it being used for all kinds of related events. Mostly, though, I had this fantasy, I guess, about sharing office space with some of the coolest people I know! Well, “sharing office space” costs (don’t say it, don’t say the “M” word!) …$. Yes, yes it does. Over time, the space available for things like readings and workshops has improved greatly, and there are groups of writers and other talented individuals who have helped fill those niches quite well. There are a great number of opportunities to gather with writers for readings and events in my area, and I regret not having been able to take advantage of all of them!
Still … I long to share an office with other writers. Hence, the idea for sharing “virtual office space” was born. So many of my writer friends/acquaintances already have their own sites and Social Networking pages (as do I), each having its own purpose, and the site I am working on would not be intended to take the place of those sites or pages. I think if I can set up the right kind (pun intended) of office space to share, with the primary purpose of getting or giving feedback, new ideas, encouragement on everything from works in progress to writer’s block, it really could be worthwhile.
I know that there are online writers’ workshops already out there. If you don’t belong to one already, maybe you would consider joining mine. It likely will be hosted on Multiply.com, and I am very open to hearing your ideas on what you would look for personally in your ideal virtual office facility, as well as in your ideal officemates! If you want to share your aforementioned ideas, and/or you would be interested in participating in this experiment, leave a comment here and let me know. More soon …