- Starting this week I am adding Thursday evenings to the Pyjama Writing Dates
- How this has helped me stick with my desire to work on my big writing projects regularly, faithfully.
- A relevant poem by Marie Howe
As every New Year ticks over to January first, I always set an intention to “write more” on my own personal passion projects. And by the time the first week is gone, my intention is mostly in tatters.
Well, the first two full weeks of Pyjama Writing have passed and I’m still going strong. I’ve done more on my CNF project and the second draft of my novel in the past two weeks than I have in the past year. Judging by the emails and messages I’m getting, it’s been helpful for others as well.
I have always loved this poem by Marie Howe called “Prayer”. For me, it could just as easily be called “Writing”.
by Marie Howe
Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important
calls for my attention—the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage
I need to buy for the trip.
Even now I can hardly sit here
among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside
already screeching and banging.
The mystics say you are as close as my own breath.
Why do I flee from you?
My days and nights pour through me like complaints
and become a story I forgot to tell.
Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.
(Posted here, among many other places: https://onbeing.org/poetry/prayer/)
That’s me when I write by myself. I find every reason possible to rise from my chair and abandon what I’m working on (unless it’s on a deadline and someone’s actually waiting for it). Underlying all of the possible reasons is the fear that what I’m writing isn’t good enough, doesn’t matter, won’t achieve the lofty vision I have for it in content or style. That I’ll fail. So much easier to get up from my chair and go get a snack.
And logically I know that in first draft writing there is no failure and that I have to get that mess down on the page before I can begin to form it into something that will resemble my initial intention for it. But logic rarely helps.
But being with other writers in silence, all of us concentrating on our work, committed to just this hour right now, helps me to stay pressed up against my project. Every time I have that impulse to rise and abandon my work, I look up and see them there working too, their intentness. Their concentration. The sight of them being faithful to their work helps me to keep my butt parked in my chair, and my fingers moving across the keyboard.
THURSDAY EVENINGS – I’m adding Thursdays at 7:30 pm. to the roster of dates. The evenings work better for some people, especially for those on the west coast or in Hawaii for whom getting up at 4:30 a.m. or earlier is just too big a sacrifice, even for their art. 🙂
There are a few FAQs below – I’m getting similar questions from people so I thought I’d post it here.
I hope you’ll join me in your metaphorical pyjamas whenever the time is right for you.
In profound gratitude,
Pyjama Writing FAQ
I thought I registered for today (right now!) but I can’t find the confirmation link! Help!
These generally come in after I’m in the room, and at that point I won’t even see them because I’m off my (seductive) email system for that 1.25 hours. But you can always go back to the registration page on Inkslingers and register again. It will send you the confirmation link immediately. I believe you can do that right up until the time the meeting finishes.
Can I register just once for all the sessions? Or, at least, just once for all the Monday night sessions for instance?
You have to register for every session that you want to come to. I’m sorry – it’s a little extra work – but I don’t want to be sending reminders that it’s PJ time to people who can’t come. I believe that starts to make it feel less like a promise to oneself and more like spam.
I’ve finished all the dates I registered for and I want to keep coming. Where do I sign up for more?
All the Pyjama Writing Dates can be accessed here on the Inkslingers’ website. You can see them as a listing or as a calendar format by changing the way you ask it to be displayed at the top of the page. All scheduled Pyjama Writing Dates are shown now till the end of March.
Will this be continuing after the end of March?
It will depend on my volume of paid work, but in all likelihood, yes. In fact, the more work I have for others, the more vital this space is for me. But to be certain, check back in March.
Can I share this with a friend?/strong>
Absolutely! I intend this to be a gift to all writers who need that little extra nudge and help to get their writing done. And I think it will be even more meaningful to you if you have an extra personal connection to another beloved face on the screen.
Do I have to make a donation to AWA to attend?
Not at all. AWA is delighted to have your support for our social justice writing programs, but you are welcome to attend without payment. All donations are on an “offer what you can” basis, including nothing at all.
I want to donate to AWA. Remind me, how do I do that?
The AWA donation link is here. The amount of support is completely up to you.