Why I Love Writing Marathons

I’m doing it again. Hosting another Summer Writing Marathon. I can’t help myself. These gatherings have been a summer staple for two decades and I can’t imagine a summer going by without one anymore than I can imagine owning a car that isn’t a ragtop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWriting Marathons are among my favorite ways to spend a day with other writers. We gather around a big table, or in a grassy park, or once, at the home of one of us where we roamed the property all day, responding to prompts and trailing rose blossoms into the stream (me, ever the romantic). We’ve marathoned at crowded cafes and in spacious art studios, and in the rooms at various writing centers. This summer, on Saturday, August 23, we’ll meet at Inspirations Gallery, at Liberty Station, an ex-Navy Training Center that has been transformed into an arts and culture center with beautiful grounds and creative mojo.

Marathons are generally themed, and this one is Outlaw Voices, Renegade Writers. You can find out more about it here.

What do we do at writing marathons? We write. Prompts and props and creative exercises, some of which participants have a hand in constructing. Our free-write sessions go from five to ten to nearly twenty minutes, with the occasional “quickie” thrown in. (A “quickie” is anywhere from one to three minutes, generally, but there’s no set time.) And after we write, we read aloud what we’ve written, if we want. No requirement to read and no feedback on the writing.

This summer’s marathon starts at 10 am and goes until 4 pm—six hours of writing, with a break for lunch. But writing marathons aren’t a test of creative endurance. They’re a way to immerse ourselves in our writing, to tread new ground, experiment, explore, take some chances, maybe break through barriers and let the words fall where they may.

If you’re in the San Diego area Saturday, August 23, and have a hankering to spend a day with other writers, writing because you love it and its fun and a good opportunity to get some work done on a project, or to just play, I hope you’ll join us. Here’s where you can get more information and register for this year’s Summer Writing Marathon—Outlaw Voices, Renegade Writers.

jr pours M&MsBring your notebook or your laptop (I prefer writing by hand). I’ll bring the M&Ms.

Register here for this year’s Summer Writing Marathon.


4 thoughts on “Why I Love Writing Marathons

  1. Writing by hand is easier, I find. The mind takes over and you don’t have to sit for hours while you try to bend your brain.

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