I am not going to lie to you – writing my book is HARD. I was all cocky about how dedicated and productive I was writing my eBook, and I thought this wouldn’t be the mud-wrestling activity it is. Writing a long-form book is a totally different animal, and it is kicking my butt.
My friend, Carolyn Dragon of TENWOMENSTRONG, sent me a resource that’s so amazing I almost hate to share it. However, we’re all about giving back to our community here at Business Unplugged™, so I will clue you in: Writers’ Hour. It’s the support you didn’t know you needed.
What is Writers’ Hour? It’s a free, open Zoom room that happens four times per weekday to accommodate global time zones. It’s sponsored by London Writers’ Salon, an organization providing support and masterclasses for writing and writers.
Here’s what happens: You join the Zoom room with one hundred or more of your new writer friends and two moderators kick things off with a welcome and a quote submitted by someone in the group. Then, they ask you to write in the chat what you’re going to work on. I might write, “Edit a chapter in my book.”
Next, they read a few of the comments in the chat, wish us luck, and everyone goes off to work on their thing while staying connected to the room. You can leave your camera on or not. Fifty minutes later, they call you back, bring one or two people on screen to talk about what they worked on, and then the moderators do a quick wrap-up.
I have gotten more done in that one hour than in a whole day. I turn off my phone and social media. I focus completely on my writing – no distractions, no going to the fridge, no bio breaks.
Now, I realize this sounds totally lame, but Carolyn turned a few people onto Writers’ Hour and we are all raving about it. I try to attend one, and sometimes two, sessions per day. I can feel the collective energy and support even if I don’t interact. There is power in groups.
Here’s the thing: Writing is a lonely activity. I sit here typing in my office on my laptop, occasionally looking up words or referenced content. Now, I feel like I am part of a cohort of writers all struggling with the same things. One day it might be inspiration, or editing, or structure, or flow, or procrastination.
The moderators remind you that showing up is half the battle, and if you just stared into space and couldn’t do much, some days are like that. In that sense, it’s like meditating. Some days are really good and you feel clear and light and focused, and some days the timer goes off and your thoughts were on a spin cycle the whole time. That’s just how it works.
When this book gets written (I almost wrote if), I am going to list Writers’ Hour in the credits because it is FANTASTIC.
And even when I am done with the book, I will probably continue to show up and work on my other writing, like the writing I do for this blog.