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General News · 21st August 2010
ruth ozeki
Last year, it was the 3-Day Novel ContestÖthis year, itís the 3-Day Writing Challenge!

Please join us over Labour Day weekend for a three day writing intensive. Itís open to anyone who wants to write anythingópoetry, memoirs, journals, short stories, novels, weblogs, haikuÖ. You donít need any experience. You donít need to think of yourself as a writer. All you need is the desire to write.

The idea is to empty your calendar, set an intention, and commit three full days to writing. What that looks like is up to you. You may simply decide to give yourself permission to play on the page, noodling around and writing whatever comes to mind. You may decide to experiment with a new formóa screenplay or sonnet. You may decide to finish a short story youíve had in your mind, or start a novel. It doesnít matter, so long as you dedicate the time to trying.

Make a space for yourself. Gather your tools. Prepare for this as carefully as if it were a voyage or a feast. Itís important to send a clear and unambiguous message to your brain, and to your Muse, that you care enough to prepare and to show up. Without this dedication of time and space, your brain will be distracted, unsettled and unable to focus. Your Muse will feel slighted and will find someone more devoted to hang out with.

And speaking about distractions, itís important to send a clear and unambiguous message to your family and friends, too, because they love you and want your attention, which will distract you from your writing, and their feelings can be easily hurt. So here are some possible explanations:

ďFor three days, over Labour Day weekend, I will be writing. Please donít take it personally, but I wonít be answering emails or phone calls. I wonít be cooking dinner or doing the laundry. In fact, I may not change my clothes all weekend.

ďIf the writing is going well, I may stay up all night and not come to bed, but it doesnít mean I donít love you. You may hear me talking to myself, or see me making faces in the mirror, or picking up a fork in a dozen different ways, or dancing the tango in the dark, but please donít worry, I am not going mad, Iím just writing.

ďAnd I really donít mean to be rude or antisocial, but if I donít say hi at the post office, or if I scowl and look right through you, itís only that Iím blind to this world right now and hearing other voices in my head, because Iím writing.Ē

Questions? Need some encouragement & inspiration? Suggestions & strategies? Tips & hints? Come to the Meet-Up the Whaletown Institute - Tuesday, August 24th, 7:00 pm, or email