Our trial period of four Fridays has come to an end and this is now a first Friday after more than a month that I have not spent in the writing club. I have to admit that I missed our little club today. We hope it will become a weekly gathering, but we are still waiting on rooms to get confirmed and in the transition period of September the club will take place twice – on the 15th and 29th.
As I was thus writing at home today, this got me thinking about the value of such get-togethers. The set-up we’ve agreed on – working for 25′ or 45′, having a break and then repeating with the pattern until we drop dead in the afternoon 😉 – works particularly well because it creates continuity and opportunity to focus. In the times of scattered attention, fragmented information and (too)many devices, the ability to maintain a focus is not to be taken for granted. Chats, emails, notifications and random noises can constantly break up our working concentration in an office, especially when one works in an open space which is often the case nowadays. The right to “switch off” and concentrate on a task at hand is not a given, which is why such initiatives are all the more welcome and appreciated. Writing requires a continuity of the thought process, to build up on ideas and create a narrative. The nature of the activity is thus oh-so-well aligned with the format of our club.
But there is a different side to it, too. Writing is a lonesome endeavour and after hours of staring at the screen, the social animal kicks in.It usually happens to me around 15 o’clock if I work from home and I found it hard to get out of the restless moment, when silence around me feels heavy. Where is a friendly face to glance at and exchange a couple of words, knowing that you will “get each other” and offer some collegial support or crack a joke? At writing club, this drop does not appear. Tea or coffee and moments of social interaction that are built in, keep you going.
Therefore – I shall hope for continuity both in our writing process and our club sessions.