2058 E. Franklin Rd. Ste. 100, Meridian, ID 83642 • www.rogprofessionals.com • 208-375-3750
SHUT UP AND WRITE!
Write Your Story in Just 1 Hour a Week
“What inspires me about these groups is how they bring people from all walks of life together under a common banner.” I’ve lived in Boise for 20 years, but during a short stint in Sacramento, I stumbled upon one of the most inspirational organizations I’ve come to know. Shut Up and Write is a working group that functions like a study-buddy program. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish in life, going at it alone makes hitting any roadblocks all the more difficult — especially when writing. Having a support system where you can gather with like-minded individuals not only assists with the writing process, it also fosters a healthy sense of community. That’s why I had to bring a program like this to Boise when I moved back. Shut Up and Write works like this: We gather together at a coffee shop or a similar location and do exactly as the title of the organization says — we silently write for an hour. Some of the experienced writers spend the time fleshing out ideas for their novels. Others come from different fields with different projects, like attorneys working on emails or law compositions. The most important part of our sessions is that when someone shows up, they know they have one hour of uninterrupted time committed to writing. Sessions are intentionally short. For many, the idea of committing more than an hour to write is what prevents them from getting started in the first place. But when you sit down for your
first gathering, you discover just how much you can write in a short amount of time. After the session ends, people gather together and do beta readings or small group discussions. Friendships are born and inspiration flourishes. I actually found my publisher through a group a few years back. I’ve since written the better part of three novels just by shutting up and writing. What inspires me about these groups is how they bring people from all walks of life together under a common banner. Our groups gather people of all ages, from teenagers to those in their 80s. If you look up from your screen, you’ll see doctors, students, and entrepreneurs diligently working. Many writers are interested in being published at some point, but an equal number are just interested in furthering their craft. We want to give them a time and place to accomplish those goals. Everyone is accepted equally at our sessions, and it’s inspiring to witness their passion in action. When I started the Boise chapter of Shut Up and Write, we had about 20 members in the first six months. We had a couple of sessions a week and continually supported those who needed the time. Since the early days, we have grown to 160 members who meet for four sessions a week. It has developed so much that I only host two sessions a week now, and the expansion has led others to start their own groups. We have two morning meetings, one afternoon meeting, and one evening meeting. All four gatherings are hosted in different coffee shops across the valley so that we can serve as many people as possible. The best part is that it’s completely free. It might cost you a cup of coffee, but we’re not here as a business. We simply want to serve the community and give you time to write.
– Julie Howard
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