The Writing Date


Pre-Covid, so like 2019 maybe, a writer friend of mine who was also a teacher came up with the idea that summer for a bunch of us writers to get together for a working lunch every couple of weeks. So she’d choose a restaurant and set a time toward the end of the lunch rush, and we’d meet, order our meals, visit while we ate, and then pull out our laptops and write for an hour and a half.

It surprised me how much I got done in that 90 minutes.

Conventional wisdom says it’s important to have a regular space to write. I do have my own private writing space. All my notes are on my desk somewhere. The books I need for reference are right there on the bookshelf. It’s very convenient to work in my study every day. I sit down and I’m immediately in my writing mindset.

But there’s something about being with people you love and doing something that you love together—even though each of you is working individually. Somehow, the sound of my friends’ typing makes me extra productive. (A friend of mine jokes about throwing introvert parties where everyone is instructed to bring a book to read. That’s totally my idea of a fun time!)

Another favorite writing activity of mine is going on a writing retreat and writing outside, usually on a porch or patio with handy tables. (We call our portable computers laptops, but we’re not really going to balance them on our laps, are we?) There are other writers nearby, but we set some time for visiting and joint activities and devote substantial time to working on our projects.

I often think I should try writing in my backyard, except I get out there and I’d rather sip a cold drink and read.

Anyway, my point is that writing rules are good, but breaking writing rules is also good, as counter-intuitive as that sounds. So I encourage you to mix things up a bit. Every once in a while, call up a writer friend or two, and invite them on a writing date. It’ll be fun. What do you think about that?

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

5 responses »

  1. Pre-Covid, Michael and I would get a hotel in Atlanta for the weekend
    and spend the majority of the time sitting at a table in Barnes and
    Noble!!  He was writing and I was planning and creating in different
    ways.   It was one of our favorite weekends away!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The picture is from the Arizona Dreamweavers retreat that I went to in 2017. (I invited you. Remember?) It was at the retreat house in Pine, just up the street from where Judy used to live. The retreat house is under new management, and our group has not been back there yet. More about the retreat house here.

      Liked by 1 person

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