Coffeehouse: Watch, Write, Share!

JV Icon PenAugust 16, 2017. This week we brought back a new, stripped-down video blog feature, Coffee with Kay. Also this week I completed voice interviews with 20 Journalverse members who gave me candid feedback on, among other things, how Journalverse could be improved.

Several people said how much they’d enjoyed Coffee with Kay and asked if I’d bring it back. That was an easy suggestion to implement, and the  next day I recorded a video blog. Another idea that several people shared was to somehow bring members together in a regular community writing process.

And voila! Coffeehouse Community Writes is born! Imagine us all in a vintage coffeehouse, sprawled on sprung couches  around wobbly tables, our journals out, classic rock (country, punk, pop, fill in your own blank) pouring out of the stereo speakers mounted on the wall. We’re writing to the same prompt and then somebody calls time and we share.

Write for 7-10 minutes on the prompt below. Then post your write, or whatever you want of it, or a reflection (As I read this I notice– I’m aware of– I’m surprised by — etc.) or notes on the process or experience of writing it.

In keeping with the theme of the video (you can watch it HERE if you haven’t already), here’s your prompt:

Write about something you’ve been avoiding or postponing. Are you ready to Just.Do.It (Nike)? If not, what stops you? If so, what is an action step you can take right now to move it forward?

Please share your write, your reflection or your process in the Comments section. Respond to each other and let’s see if we can create a community journal experience!


12 Responses to Coffeehouse: Watch, Write, Share!

  1. Carol Roberts August 24, 2017 at 11:02 am #

    My first reaction is, “I’m not holding myself back, it’s my finances that hold me!” Certainly, I’m having to stop buying–books, shoes, whatever, and get out of debt. But with further reflection, I do admit that the one thing I’m procrastinating about is writing. Oh, I have excuses. The baby. The new classes and lesson plans. Oh, yes, I do have excuses. But deep down I know that we do what we want to do. I say that I am writing my memoir in poetry, only I haven’t written a new poem in a couple weeks. I need a regular time, I think. I write in journals morning and evening; I’m writing my notes about the classes. But somehow I need to designate a regular schedule for writing and just do it! Thanks. I needed that, Kay.

    • Kay Adams August 28, 2017 at 8:40 am #

      Carol, I support you in carving out writing space/time for yourself. Perhaps you could set an achievable number of days — three or four? — and if you do five or six, that’s great. You’ll find your own rhythm if you’ll keep your expectations low and your curiosity high as you experiment with a new form. Also: I’m noticing the rapid shift from habituated reaction to solution and plan in about 100 words. Next: Action! (Also: Any thought for Cathy, below?)

      • Carol Roberts August 30, 2017 at 1:35 pm #

        Cathleen is farther along than I am. I can’t figure out where to start in the submission process or even if I want to. I did attend a poetry reading in my new town and that was fun. I’ve also written about my journey from Nashville to San Luis Obispo and submitted it in a contest to win a writers’ conference registration. Haven’t heard yet about that. But I am getting close to doing a very scaled down (as in cheap) printing of the 30 or 40 poems I have ready and just test the waters as I offer them to friends and family. But I will keep on writing (and reading) poetry, that’s for sure.

        • Kay Adams August 31, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

          Carol, that sounds like a realistic plan! Many, many, many first iterations of works are published at Kinko’s or Staples, so never fear — you can absolutely create a respectable-looking collection on a budget for 30-40 poems. Let us know if you win the conference registration! Fun!

      • Carol Roberts August 30, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

        Well, I can think of three days that I’d have enough energy to do this: the two afternoons of days I’m teaching in the morning and Sunday afternoon. So that’s a good idea, Kay. Thanks.

        • Kay Adams August 31, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

          Let us know how it goes! And remember — progress, not perfection. Do what you can and let go of the times you can’t.

    • Cathleen Callahan August 30, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

      I’m fascinated with your plan to write your memoir in poetry. Your idea has encouraged me to see my poetry manuscript as a memoir of my internal world. Thank you 🙂

      • Jennifer Wolfe September 2, 2017 at 6:45 am #

        We’re working on memoir as a theme this semester in my writing circle, using Truth To Memoir as our text. When I saw your post about “how to organize,” I wondered, could you find a theme or two for that? Since it doesn’t have to be EVERYTHING. I love the idea of a poetry book as a memoir of your internal world.

  2. Cathleen Callahan August 25, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    Something I’ve been avoiding or postponing? Getting my poetry manuscript, not only together, but to my bookmaker, who will put it together for CreateSpace. It’s not that I haven’t worked on it. A year ago spring I found, edited and printed poems of a lifetime and had them spread in ever-changing piles on my dining table for weeks, trying to fathom how to organize a lifetime! And I have diligently submitted poems to Saturday Writers (a division of Missouri Writers Guild) and won regularly. But then last summer I skipped over to another path, memoir, took a six-month class, wrote pieces I will use one day, but discovered I need a different approach, perhaps using my poetry as prompts for “captured moments” of my life. Then I hurt my back and stopped writing altogether for months. Until this past month when I took the TWI Wanderlust Poetry class with wonderful Linda Barnes, and, voila, poems came again. Yay! This morning I selected poems, including one of the newest ones, for contest entries. I’m determined to clear my office of the leftover remains of other “projects” and return to compiling my poetry manuscript. And, I know myself well enough to shake my head and say, “Sure, while you’re also investing time in spiritual studies, singing in two major choruses, reading entries for the St. Louis Symphony’s “Express the Music” program, visiting your daughter on Shaw Island, going to plays, reading your piles of books, and knitting prayer shawls!” and replying to my skeptical self, “Of course!”

    • Kay Adams August 27, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

      Holy cow, Cathy, it’s a darned good thing you retired, because you would NEVER find time to work with all you’ve got going on. I’m thrilled to hear that the Poetry Project is back in foreground; you’re not that far off from the vision you set at Journal Conference 2016 to have your poetry book finished in a year. Taking a six-month diversion for memoir feels perfectly appropriate! Good for you for submitting — that’s a world that is completely mysterious and elusive for me. I wouldn’t even know how to start. So I admire you! (Also: Any notes for Carol, above?)

      • Cathleen Callahan August 30, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

        Three of my poems won the July contest for Saturday Writers! I’ll have at least five poems in this year’s anthology. Now that my back is good, I’m getting back to things I couldn’t do, especially my garden which was a forest of flowers that need thinning and honeysuckle that had taken over the back fencethat had to be cut down. Physical work helps me get back to mental work, so I’ve pulled out the manuscript as an autumn project.

        • Kay Adams August 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

          Oh man if I had a forest of flowers and a wall of honeysuckle I would be in HEAVEN!!! And–standing O for five poems in Saturday Writers anthology! Glad your back is good enough for gardening. It’s always a coming home to self, isn’t it? I’ve got to make the annual swap-outs of fading summer flowers to thriving autumn flowers this weekend.

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