Sunday, May 3, 2009

RESEARCH . . . FUN?. . .

Why do we “wannabe writers” spend hours working on our craft, sacrificing time spent with family and friends, and sometimes even forgoing sleep merely to put words on paper?

Is it only for that ultimate prize; are we all searching for the Holy Grail known as publication?

Maybe. . . , but remember the famous singer, songwriter, political activist and Beatle’s warning, “life is what happens while you’re making plans.”

So, maybe, we should remember to enjoy the journey as much as the trip.

One day we’ll look back and what will we remember? At least for me, it won’t be my first byline. Instead, the thing that will stay with me is the friendships I’ve made along the way. Networking isn’t all about the writing. It’s about relationships.

So here's what my little writing group is doing to try to infuse a little more fun in our critique sessions. We've decided to do some of our research, for our novels, together. So we've been going on fieldtrips together.

That's what we did as kids. We'd visit the zoo, the cookie factory or go see a play to learn a little more about it—right? So, why shouldn't we do it too? Some of my best times back in school, were spent on fieldtrips.

And, it’s been easy.

I’m in a critique group with five other women, where we all write about different topics. Currently, one of us is writing a historical novel set in France. So, we decided to go out for breakfast at a café that serves French cuisine. It was a fun morning filled with good food, conversation and critiquing. And, while we were there, we all got a look at the decorations, fabrics and food of France. And, that’s one session I’ll remember more than most.

So, why not go on a fieldtrip and do a little research—you might find out it’s a lot of fun. . .and make a few closer friendships.


Teacherninja said...

Sounds cool. My group just did this thing where we each wrote the beginning of a story and traded. Now we have to finish someone else's story for next time!

I think if I did your research thing I'd set my next story in a brew pub...

Kim Kasch said...

:) I love that idea. And even better if it was in Ireland - I've always wanted to visit there. What a cool thing that would be - research in Ireland.

And, let me know how the stories come out.

Angela said...

I love research too. But one of the most fun things our group did was take a three-day retreat together. We wrote all day and did critiques, writing exercises and other fun stuff at night. Also we just had uninterrupted time to get to know each other (and the urban slang dictionary) better!

Kim Kasch said...

I really like that idea Angela. Plus I love Urban Dictionary. It's one of my tabs at the top of my computer. My son showed it to me when I didn't know the meaning of a word he used.

As Yoda would say, "Getting old, I am."

Rena said...

That sounds like a great thing to do with your group, Kim. I love it. I love doing research for story ideas, for some reason. Right now I'm rewriting my first picture book I ever wrote. I was inspired by a trip to Glacier NP. You just never know where inspiration will hit you.

Good luck with your group!

Amy Tate said...

What a wonderful idea! The writing friendships that I've made are truly the most special part.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

How cool! My writing group does field trips too--it's during the casual conversation that so much work gets done sometimes!