I wrote this today at the National Writing Project’s Virtual Writing Marathon. It was the first time that I’ve done one of these marathons and I have to tell you, it was such an uplifting and joyful experience. I’m a solitary creature and I don’t like to let people read my work until I’ve analyzed every sentence multiple times, word-smithing things as I go along through myriad readings. But today, I didn’t do that. I had seven minutes and a prompt. Above is my first time writing under the gun, with a live audience.
I also wrote the beginning of a short story that I’ve been meaning to get around to. And I watched complete strangers read my work before I’d had a chance to refine it. So thank you Corina, Ann, Edmund, and Jen and the organizers of this project because when I saw the smile on the faces of my group members as they read my three paragraphs, I felt like I had finally seen the very human connection that writers want with their readers.
I also found my group members inspiring because not all writing is the same. Some writers have a musicality to their word structure, or an emotional edge, or the ability to find the extraordinary in everyday experiences. I spent ninety minutes writing with strangers today, and I am so much better because of it.