Junia and I have, for some time now, talked about doing a writing session: an extended amount of time in which we can unplug from the Internet and just write. That idea never fully realized until two weekends ago, when a group of our intrepid writerly friends hunkered down with us in our cluttered living room to participate in what I’ve since termed The Great 16-Hour Writathon. Our goal? To emerge, after a night-long writing spree, with the completed first draft of an original short story. While I can’t say that we were entirely successful—I don’t think any of us finished our first drafts—we did have a blast that night.
I can almost swear that there was something in the air. There was not a drop of liquor between any two of us, and yet somehow we all laughed uproariously at seemingly everything and anything for the better part of the evening. Even when we got serious, there was never an extended stretch of time where someone wasn’t doing something silly, or saying something ridiculous. Junia, for example, would randomly puncture the silence by breaking out in song, or else do spot-on impersonations of Russell Crowe’s rather unfortunate singing in Les Misérables. And then there were the endless hipster jokes. And Paul’s unflinchingly snarky and hilarious remarks. All in all, there was a LOT of madness. But I liked the madness. It was so unlike what I was used to—lots of quiet, lots of solitude—but it put me at ease. It also put me in that perfect state of mind—that writerly sweet spot—where one’s ambition and drive to create a completed story is balanced by the desire to be creative and to have fun in the process.
Looking back, what I appreciate the most about the Writathon was the people. I know, kind of a corny thing to say, but it’s true! The Writathon wouldn’t have been as enjoyable or productive or inspiring were it not for my fellow writers. I love that we were all having fun, embracing the craziness, but all the while working hard at our respective stories. I also love how we were able to approach each other at any time, whether for help or constructive criticism, or for thoughtful discussions on the nature of storytelling. We were friends first and then writers, and that made all the difference.
Many thanks to all who was a part of this! Especially Junia, who organized the event. Let’s do this again, yeah??