Ten Steps For Making The Most of Writing Meet-Ups

Recently, I ran into someone who told me, “If you’re a writer, act like one.” I felt like someone had slapped me in the face. It made me realize the writer in me needed some tough love. With this in mind, I created guidelines for our writing meet-ups to make sure you walk away with something tangible.

Writing Meet-Up Guidelines

1. PRIORITIZE YOUR WRITING - Mark your calendar and carve out the time to attend a writing meet up or start your own.

2. WRITING TOOL BOX - Bring a laptop, journal, notebook whatever your tool of the trade is bring it.

3. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO BE DOING? It’s a writing meet-up. Just Write.

4. STUCK? If you or someone from the group has no idea where to begin, bring writing prompts for attendees.

5. FOCUS - Bring focus to your writing by having a writing goal for the evening. This is a new concept for me. The first time Paloma asked me what my writing goal was I stared at her stumped. What did she mean by writing goal?

Here are examples of writing goals:

Write a total word count of 2,000 words

New scene for a play

Sketch out a new blog post

Start something new / wrap up an old writing project or revisit it

6. CIERRA EL PICO - I am a total chatterbox and can yap away into oblivion. However, at a writing meet up, unless the café is burning to the ground I won’t talk to you or expect you to talk to me. Why? We are here to write. Let’s socialize and talk about our projects over some beers after the writing session is done.

7. EMBOBADA - Whether it’s the loud mouth that comes in to place his order, the girl with the annoying Woody Wood Pecker laugh or the sound of someone eating their chips too loudly I get distracted easily. If this happens to you bring headphones, listen to some music and focus on writing.

8. SOCIAL MEDIA SABATOGE – Don’t let Twitter or Facebook foil your writing efforts. I too love to read status updates on Facebook and read Oprah tweets.  Disconnecting for two hours will help you zoom in on your writing. Don’t worry, if you do go into convulsions because your not online we will have the cute barista give you mouth-to-mouth.

9. OH, THE HORROR – Stephen King says, “You must not come lightly to the page…If you can take it seriously, we can do business.”

10. SO YOU ARE A WRITER? Once I ran into acclaimed poet Alurista in a hotel lobby in New Mexico. He asked me, “So you’re a writer? Before I could respond he said, “Prove it.” Thankfully, I was able to dig through my luggage and pull out a slightly tattered draft of my unpublished chapbook.  All this to say, take advantage of writer meet-ups to generate new work.

The next writing meet-up is on:

Thursday, Sept. 27th 6:30pm to 8:30pm

@ Julius Meniel Café  

3601 North Southport (Corner of Southport and Addison)

Chicago, IL

CTA – Brown line Southport stop or Red line Addison stop

Street parking only.

Do you have a writing meet-up tip that isn’t on the list? Post it in the comment section.

If you have a venue suggestion for future writing meet-ups, writing resources or writing field trips post them in the comment section, email them to info@proyectolatina.org or post them on our Facebook page.



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