Challenge to Writers: Jump Into a Blissful Research Break

Boy, Have I Been Having Fun!

By Annette Rey

Any time away from your daily grind job is fun, right? Well, I have been recently blessed with a relief in my workload. I am spending that time enrolling in free, educational, one-day events around town (at colleges, nature centers, libraries, and churches)*.

These are marvelous opportunities for writers. Waves of new information enter your head and the creativity part of your brain lights up. I will be sharing these experiences with you, encouraging you to search out the same types of opportunities in your part of the world. You will be amazed at what is out there to stoke your writer’s imagination to help you break through anything you may think is writer’s block.

Take a look.

1) Leave your house. Yes, get out in the world, in the sunshine, in the night lights. Just the physical act of having a destination related to your writing goals gives you an emotional boost.

2) Go to the places(*) where you can collect their schedules of offerings

3) Sit and lay out the schedules. Mark the activities that appeal to you.

4) Check your calendar and plug those of interest into dates you have available.

5) Call the source and make your registrations.

6) Be sure to attend at the time and date specified.

7) Take notes. Collect any handouts. Take pictures. Talk to other attendees. Make contacts. Give out your writer’s business card.

8) Upon returning home, make a quick entry into a journal about what you did, briefly note what was presented, and especially how it made you feel.

9) When you can, transcribe your notes. Keep them as reference material.

10) Then you must make the time to WRITE.

You will have mounds of fodder from which to draw. Your creative mind can take the material you collected and write many articles, short stories, poems, haikus, whatever, from the same experience written from different aspects and points of view.

pics spiders

I told people I planned to attend a spider hunt at a nature center and their reaction was to ask “Why?”. Clearly we were not of the same mind. Still, I sought out the experience. After the indoor education on spiders, the sun had set and our group of at least thirty strangers went outside. We soon lost the sensation of cold as we were on a mission. Carrying flashlights and applying our new education, we spotted the wolf spider’s eyes (they have eight) glowing back at us from the autumn leaf-scattered ground. Here we were, grown adults, engaged in a great eight-year-old kid adventure, among others of our own kind, not embarrassed, and not caring who may criticize us. We gently captured these docile creatures in small bottles or white bowls and gathered at a table set up with lights and a microscope. There we enjoyed up-close-and-personal contact with these beneficial predators but harmless-to﷓humans travelers of our Earth. All were treated with respect and released unharmed to logs and leaves, sheltered in the darkness. As our group approached our cars, we chatted among ourselves as if we were old friends. The cold began to set in as my mind returned to the task of life of driving my car. But for awhile, I had been transported, intellectually stimulated and lost in the wilderness, not fearful, mastering the elements and the wildlife.

snip spider 3

Do you see? This was not hunting bear or trudging across the Arctic circle. But it still was an experience worth doing and fodder about which to write. It was more mental input, not digitally acquired. I was among others who wouldn’t question my quest. I have been enriched on many levels.

Seek out the opportunities in your area. Attend. Then write.

(Next post I will share precise information about sources and their offerings).

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