February 6th Virtual Meeting Recap

Due to the request of several members, virtual meetings will continue on 1st Saturdays! A nice little group of us met today, on the sixth day of February 2021, with some good discussion and beautiful pieces to share! See the recap below:

Group Updates:

  • Welcome new member Robert! 
  • Jen updated the group about added Events and virtual meetings added to the WWG website.
  • You can now find our Anthology book in a few more local places:
    • Cream & Amber in Hopkins  – available for purchase online or in-store pickup
    • Unearthed Arts in Waconia – available in store
    • Outreach is also in the works with the Arboretum and the Carver County Library system, as well as other bookstores around the Twin Cities metro. Please refer back to our Anthology page for updates on who is currently carrying View from the Shore!
  • In other Anthology-related news, we are still in the process of confirming a date with the ACCC for our virtual celebration/reading! We have three WWG members/anthology contributors who have committed to participate; please let Jen or Mona know if you’re interested. It’s looking like we are trying to set something up for a weeknight in March, more info to come!

Sharing Pieces:

  • Many members were inspired by the prompt for this meeting: Winter Day. Several wonderful pieces were shared! (PLEASE NOTE: If members would like their past work, prompts or otherwise, featured on our WWG website, let Jen know! We have a page – In Our Own Words – devoted to highlighting work of our members who volunteer to share it!) 
  • Laurel and Lynn shared non-prompt pieces they had been working on. As promised, Lynn shared parts of her geese and cyborg story, and it was worth the wait! Laurel shared a video-game inspired piece that drew us immediately in. Wonderful world-building!
  • Jen shared a video she made featuring her piece for the Winter Day writing prompt, called Faerie Snow. Exploring new media for featuring writing became a discussion topic (see below).

Discussion:

  • Group members discussed using the method of distancing and how it sometimes helps us solve problems with pieces we’re having difficulty with. Taking some space from a piece – sometimes even to focus on other writing projects or creative outlets – can clear the perspective and help us find solutions to plot snarls when we return to the troublesome piece. As a group, we agreed that temporarily distancing ourselves is a tool we can use when writing novels, shorter pieces, and poetry! Writer’s block is real and doesn’t discriminate based on what you write. Distancing can definitely help!
  • Jen’s video piece prompted some conversation around finding “outside-the-box” opportunities for our writing. We talked about YouTube channels, performance poetry and spoken word, and other creative virtual methods for getting our work independently out there, as we still are learning to function as writers (and generally as people) still stuck in the middle of a pandemic.
  • We also talked about how to find resources and opportunities for projects we are working on. Several people are looking for illustrators; it was suggested that Fiverr may be a useful resource for writers when shopping for freelanced work of a creative nature.
  • The members at the meeting expressed interest in possibly arranging a separate meeting devoted to the process of publishing our work as writers. Since we do have collective experience with that, we think it would definitely be a useful topic for discussion, and an involved-enough topic to warrant its own meeting. Stay tuned!
  • The group also identified a goal of devoting more time to critique and feedback on pieces we’re working on. We talked about what critique means and how it’s a useful part of the writing process (constructive vs. not constructive), and agreed to identify some guidelines for our members to follow when engaging in critique as a group.
  • We are looking forward to our first “extra” meeting of 2021, this Wednesday 2/10 at 7pm on Zoom!
      • How we plan to use this time:
        1. We’ll kick off with a free-write, 10 or 20 minutes 
        2. We are going to use the rest of our meeting to focus on one of our goals mentioned above, critique and feedback!
          • Participants should bring a piece to this meeting they are currently working on and would like feedback on.
          • We will take turns reading our pieces and open the floor for critique.
          • We will agree on a time limit per member for reading and feedback.
          • We will also create a unanimous “Critique Code” by identifying some agreed-upon guidelines to make sure people feel comfortable and are on the same page with the critique process.
      • All are invited to this Wednesday night meeting; please know that we would like to stick to the two activities above during this time. We will be continuing our regular meetings the first Saturday of the month! 

Next Saturday Meeting:

We decided we wanted to explore crafting dialogue in our pieces for next meeting. “Eavesdropping on a conversation” is the prompt for next virtual Saturday meeting, March 6th @ 10:30am

Anything I missed? Go ahead and share in the comments below! ~Jen

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