Inspired By Pencils

As the calendar changed from February to March my creator’s soul sang out its annual clarion call, “April is coming!” April, which is filled with online challenges for those who are ready to rise to them: NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month), #the100dayproject, Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and, of course, Camp NaNoWriMo just to name some of my favorites. I started to wonder which challenge I would sign up for, and, more importantly, how I could best serve my Stop Writing Alone community during this month of occasionally overwhelming inspiration.

I grabbed a brand new marble notebook for brainstorming about April. I just needed something to write with.

I was in the living room surrounded by filled pen cups, and various writing utensils in my son’s orange dollar store craft caddy, but I felt compelled to walk to the desk to get a brand new pencil to go with my new notebook. It was odd, but it didn’t seem so at the time. When I opened the squeaky drawer to my ancient desk I found an unopened pack of five pencils I had nearly forgotten about. They were from a subscription box for writers I use to get. They were pencils for writers! Perfect! I thought, and I carried the whole pack out to the living room, sat down with my blue plastic pencil sharpener and turned the pack over in my hands.

a perfect writing week as expressed in a pencil pack

Each pencil had an inscription:

On Mondays I Plot

On Tuesdays I Write

On Wednesdays I Drink

On Thursdays I Edit

On Fridays I Daydream

I smiled and thought, It’s the perfect writing week. And then I said out loud, “That is the perfect writing week!”

I sharpened the Monday pencil and started scribbling feverishly coming up with what I hoped would be the perfect plan for my April offering. This is what I came up with — totally inspired by pencils — for what I am calling the Stop Writing Alone Happy Campers Club running this April:

Stop Writing Alone Happy Campers Club

On Mondays I Plot

Each Monday I will host a live web call with attendees where we will discuss plots and plans. Mondays will be for goal setting, story structure, and other discussions related to the writing project(s) we are tackling during the month.

On Tuesdays I Write

Tuesday will be all about getting words on the page.  I will host write-ins, writing sprints, and provide writing boosts (mini prompts to help writers get unstuck during the word mongering of the day).

On Wednesdays I Drink

Wednesdays will be for support and chat. I will host a coffee hour live webinar for the attendees to check in with me and each other concerning how their week is going so far. We will decompress, celebrate our wins, and share our struggles.

On Thursdays I Edit

Whether the Happy Campers are drafting or working on rewriting during the month of April, all writers need to edit at some point. On Thursdays this April, I will be sharing tips with the group that they can either use immediately, or collect to use at the end of the month. Thursday will likely be the quietest day for me as host, but the resources will be plentiful.

On Fridays I Daydream

What a wonderful way to enter into each weekend — stretching out into our dreamer state. How does this translate into an offering from me? For one, Fridays are the day I always share my weekly writing prompts which I hope help writers to dream big and wonderful new creations, but I don’t want to end there. Writer daydreams also consist of thoughts of their writing career, so Fridays will include inspirations and pro tips on creating their dream writing career in addition to being a day of prompts.

I had a plan. I have a plan. I laughed aloud as I realized this dream of a community project was inspired by pencils. The next step was to reveal it to the community and hope that others would be as excited as I was.

The group of happy campers is growing, but as April grows nearer and the coronavirus has even more writers and creatives struggling to find their community connections, I thought I would extend the invitation a bit further, to you. If you are reading this, and you are intrigued by this month long project with fellow writers seeking to rise to some writing goal or challenge in the month of April — regardless of genre, regardless of whether you are looking to draft, rewrite, or revise — then this invitation is especially for you.

The early bird pricing ended, but with all of the financial curve balls people are being thrown with this social distancing, I decided to cut the regular $49.99 price down to $30, basically one dollar per day for the month of April. You’ll have lifetime access to the group and the resources shared within. Any and all video calls that happen in the group will be recorded if you can not make the live event. It is my dream that you can make connections with the other happy campers to become your own writing tribe as you grow and write together. My mission is to get people to stop writing alone, this tight knit, highly accountable community is one of the best ways I can think of fostering that ideal in real time. If you think you’d like to join me for the experiment, here’s the link to join:

Stop Writing Alone Happy Campers Club Information and Sign Up


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