Writing is still important

As COVID-19 has spread throughout our local community, and the nation at large, we’ve all had to severely change our daily habits. We haven’t seen our family, our friends, and our coworkers as much as we once did. We’ve sheltered in place, socially distanced ourselves, and become more physically isolated than we have at any point in our lives. 

I have seen a few people on Twitter and elsewhere drawing attention to an important fact: during this time most people are turning to the arts. People are streaming films and TV shows with such hunger it’s straining the Internet’s infrastructure in Europe and elsewhere. Musicians are performing in-home streaming concerts. Painters and illustrators are posting and selling their works online. 

When things are dire, we turn to the arts. We turn to the things that help us stay connected with each other even if it’s through ink on a page or pixels on a screen. The arts help us handle — or escape — everything happening right now. 

This means your writing is still important. 

Whether you’re writing for publication or just for yourself, those words, phrases, and paragraphs are still so, so important. If you’re working on a fantasy story it could take someone off into another world for a little while. If it’s a mystery, then you’re presenting the reader with a problem they know will get solved. If it’s a memoir, then the reader will gain an understanding about someone else’s life and perhaps know they aren’t alone. If it’s poetry, you’re demonstrating the beauty language can obtain in a perfect jewel on the page. 

It all helps. Writing can help people heal in so many ways, whether it’s the author expressing themselves or the reader finding an escape or new perspective. 

Now please don’t take this to mean “You. Must. Write. Now.” This isn’t intended to browbeat people into working on their project or serve as a subtle guilt trip. I have seen the tweet about how Shakespeare wrote King Lear while under quarantine. If that encourages you to produce your magnum opus, go for it! But we’re not all Shakespeare. I’m certainly not. I haven’t written anything in three weeks, and I just now feel that I can get back to my in-progress draft. 

This is intended to provide a bit of perspective. Even though things are changing day by day, and we don’t really know what comes next when all this abates, one thing is certain: your writing is still important. 

Your work is still important. 

You as a writer are still important. 

Rome Area Writers is working on ways to keep our community connected for the duration of this crisis. We’re going to acquire a Zoom account and hold both our monthly meetings and beta group meetings online. The officers and I are going to discuss what we can do going forward during these meetings, but one thing I do expect is that we’ll have a couple of online mini-workshops like what we’ve had recently.

RAW’s motto is “Writers helping writers.” We’re taking that motto to heart, and rising to this occasion, because you’re important to us.

-Jason Lowrey

2020 President

February 13: Dialogue Mini-Workshop

Rome Area Writers is offering another mini-workshop at our next meeting, Thursday, Feb. 13, that will focus on dialogue and giving characters distinct voices.

As usual, Rome Area Writers will meet at 6 p.m. at the Sarah Hightower Library in Rome in the Etowah Room. Our dialogue mini-workshop will involve a 20-minute writing exercise, so anyone who wants to participate is asked to bring their preferred writing devices. After the exercise anyone who wishes to read their response to the prompt is welcome to do so, but it isn’t required.

When the mini-workshop concludes, we will hand out a prompt for the March meeting. In addition, there will be a special project for those members who are actively working on a book for publication. We hope this monthly prompt, and the project, will help writers improve their skills and think about how their work fits within the larger publishing world.

All Rome Area Writers meetings are open to the public and we’re happy to welcome new visitors. If you have any questions about the group, or would like more information, please contact us.

Meeting – January 14, 2016

Happy new year. Our first meeting of the year will be January 14 at the Rome/Floyd County Library starting at 6:00PM.  Here is what to expect at this month’s meeting.

Officer Elections
2016 Membership Dues  – See Dekie Hicks to pay your $20. Make checks out to Rome Area Writers.
Reading Night – There is no prompt, but please bring  a little piece of whatever you happen to be writing now. We would all like to hear your current project. There is a TEN minute time limit for each reader.
Website Content –  We are taking suggestions for content to be added to the new website. Feel free to contribute.

This should be an exciting meeting and we are all looking forward to seeing you Thursday.

Keep writing!

New Site

To start the new year off with a bang, we have upgraded the platform for the Rome Area Writers’ website. The new platform will allow our leadership to update content and make even more information available to members and non-members alike.

This will be an ongoing transition. Over the next few weeks you will see changes in the way the site looks, content availability, and even some possible uh-oh’s. If there was something that you miss terribly from the old site and want it back, give us a shout via the contact page. That can help us prioritize content that needs transitioning. If you have content that you would like added to the site, you can use the contact us page as well. Or you can bring your suggestion to the next meeting. We are looking for awesome news from our membership that we can help publicize. Things like book and story releases, signings, and other news.

We are trying our best to not have any issues with the transition, but the uh-oh’s are bound to happen. When things like typographical errors, bad links, or even flat-out wrong information occurs on the site, we want your help in identifying them. Please contact us so that we can address these issues as soon as possible.

We are looking forward to the new year with all of the possibilities that we can imagine. Since we are writers, boy-oh-boy, those possibilities are endless.

Happy writing, reading, and enjoying life.